Illinois legislators are considering adding more cannabis shop licenses to the state.
This new plan, if approved, could as much as double the number of shops that exist so far. There is currently some stagnation in the process, as the lottery system to determine who the next 75 licenses will be given to has been delayed by lawsuits claiming the system wasn’t fair.
Currently, Illinois is awaiting a ruling on whether or not cannabis officials will allow the state to move forward with allowing losing cannabis shop applicants the chance to once again be considered, due to aspects of the original lottery the shops are speaking out against.
This new legislation, backed by State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, would up the number of 75 potential new licenses to 150 total. Those cut from the lottery the first time around would be included back into the running. The idea behind this change is to get rid of some of the issues that resulted in lawsuits.
The goal currently is to make sure social equity applicants are prioritized in a fair and just way for the entire industry. The Illinois cannabis industry is still overwhelmingly white, with very few minority business owners.
“I can truly say that the governor’s office really wants to see this problem go away so that we can get more social equity applicants [involved] because that’s what the law was intended to produce,” said Ford.
This legislation is backed by other Democrats in Chicago as well. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy is a member of the cannabis working group in Chicago, and claims that these discussions on the cannabis industry need to be agreed upon before work can move forward.”
“There’s, I think, consensus that we need to get more licenses out. But the how, I think, is