Illinois Senate Passes Bill to Award 185 Cannabis Dispensary Licenses, Pritzker Says He’ll Sign
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While the Illinois Senate had until May 31st to vote on whether or not to pass House Bill 1443, On Friday, May 28th, the Senate voted to pass the bill in a 50 to 3 vote. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he would sign the bill, which aims to fix the state’s failed process to diversify its cannabis industry.
Through HB1443, three lotteries will be created to award a total of 185 dispensary licenses in 2021, giving minorities and people affected by the war on drugs a chance to participate in the burgeoning cannabis industry that is reportedly growing to over 1 billion dollars.
Illinois Senate Lottery 1
Lottery 1 will be designated for applicants who received a perfect score and had a veteran on their team who owns 51% of the business.
Illinois Senate Lottery 2
Lottery 2 will be designated for applicants who received a minimum score of 85%. This lottery does not require a veteran to own the business.
Illinois Senate Lottery 3
Lottery 3 is being designated as a “Social Equity Justice Involved” round where an applicant must have lived in an area impacted by the war on drugs for 10 years, have been arrested or convicted of a marijuana crime eligible for expungement, or be a member of a family impacted by the war on drugs.
On Twitter, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released a statement saying,
“Equity is at the core of cannabis legalization in Illinois, and this essential legislation will accelerate our collective vision to make sure that the communities harmed the most by the war on drugs can participate in this industry as it grows.
Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and Illinois Senate Representative La Shawn Ford helped bring so many advocates together to improve upon our historic law, and I am grateful for their work ushering this bill to my desk. I look forward to signing this bill into law so that we can begin the next phase of creating a cannabis industry that reflects the diversity of all our people.”
The governor now has up to 90 days to sign the bill.
The Cannabis Community and other ancillary businesses are calling on the continued support from the governor to sign the bill immediately upon arrival on his desk. Would you like to add your business to the list headed to the Illinois Senate?