Illinois Set To Begin Their Lottery To Distribute Cannabis Retail Licensing

Illinois Set To Begin Their Lottery To Distribute Cannabis Retail Licensing - Marijuana Packaging

As reported by Capitol News, Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a news conference in Chicago announced he signed a measure creating two new rounds of marijuana dispensary licenses along with the dates of the three lotteries to distribute the licenses. The first drawing on July 29th, for 55 licenses, will be held for applicants who previously received 85% of a total of 250 points on the state’s assessment. Candidates also must not have reached the state’s 10-license limit. An August 5th drawing, also for 55 licenses, is primarily for social equity applicants who live in an area impacted by the war on drugs or have a past arrest for marijuana-related offenses as well as scored 85% on the state’s scale.

Gov. Pritzker has focused on criminal justice reform, signing into law House Bill 1443 to give aid to those who have been wrongly impacted by the War on Drugs. Pritzker said at the conference, “In addition to signing that legislation, we’re actually issuing 200 craft grower (and other) licenses across the state and about 67 percent of those are going to people of color.” He went on further saying, “And so there will be people getting into business in the cannabis industry, nearly right away, and I’m very pleased about that.”

The newly signed bill was an effort to kickstart the state’s equity measures in the 2019 law that sought to diversify the largely white, male-dominated cannabis industry. Before the initial law, 75 dispensary licenses were supposed to be distributed over a year ago, but of the 900-plus applicants for those licenses, only 21 achieved the perfect score necessary to be entered into the final lottery. This caused the governor to put a hold on the lottery amidst backlash from equity advocates. Marijuana reform such as House Bill 1443 helps the cannabis community take another step closer towards federal legalization.

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