Illinois Cannabis License Lottery Winners Questioned by Applicants

High Times

Officials in the state of Illinois concluded the last of three rounds of cannabis retail license lotteries, leaving many applicants without a license and left to question if social equity was ignored during the process. The first of the lotteries, called the “Qualifying Applicant Lottery,” was held July 29, 2021 and chose from over 600 total applicants. It awarded 55 conditional use licenses to those who applied and “received a final score of at least 85 percent of 250 application points available.” The second lottery again awarded 55 more licenses on August 5, and narrowed down eligible applicants by removing those who only qualified as employees rather than owners. The third and final lottery was held on August 19, referred to as a “Tied Applicant Lottery,” with 75 recreational cannabis license winners officially announced by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, chosen out of a pool of 135. During the selection process, there was supposed to be special consideration to take social equity into account on a points-based system.  “After all of the lessons learned so far, we know that our fight for equity will continue at each phase to ensure that the hopes of this historic law are true to its promise,” said Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Toi Hutchinson in a press release. “Nearly two years ago, high scoring applicants did not know what their future in the Illinois Cannabis industry would be. After the tireless work of the Pritzker Administration, lawmakers and stakeholders who would not give up on the possibility of an industry that looks like our state’s incredible diversity, this third lottery puts us closer than ever to making the dreams of so many a reality.” On the contrary, many of the chosen license winners are accused of not being diverse…

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Source : Illinois Cannabis License Lottery Winners Questioned by Applicants

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