Long-awaited pot dispensary license lotteries planned for this summer – Chicago Sun-Times


The long-awaited lotteries for 110 cannabis dispensary licenses for minority applicants are planned for later this month and August, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office announced Thursday.

Pritzker’s announcement comes on the heels of state legislators passing a bill that created the lotteries – legislation seen by its supporters as a way ensure better racial diversity in the state’s cannabis licensing process.

“Over the past century, the failed war on drugs has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted Black and Brown communities,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“Legalizing adult-use cannabis brought about an important change, and this latest piece of legislation helps move us even closer to our goal of establishing a cannabis industry in Illinois that doesn’t shy away from the pain caused by the war on drugs but instead centers equity and community reinvestment as the key to moving forward,”

The planned lotteries will be broken in two and consist of 55 licenses in each round.

One of those lotteries will be open to social equity applicants who previously received 85% of a total of 250 points on the state’s scoring scale. For the other lottery, applicants will need to meet the definition of “Social Equity Justice Involved” status, meaning priority will be given to those who live in an area “disproportionately impacted” by the drug war or who have past arrests for cannabis-related offenses.

The lotteries for the 110 new licenses will be in addition to a lottery for 75 licenses that were supposed to be released in 2020. That batch of licenses was delayed due to litigation and complaints surrounding the state’s scoring system that saw many clouted and industry insiders getting the top marks.

July 29: The lottery for qualifying applicants with a score of at least 85% of the 250 application

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