As New Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Are Issued, Focus Turns to Industry Equity – WTTW News

In late July, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a second round of conditional adult use cannabis dispensary licenses that brought the total number of issued licenses to 177.

The applicants, all of whom qualify as social equity applicants, have 180 days to obtain a physical storefront location and the full adult use dispensing organization license. According to the state, of the business selected for the licenses, 41% are majority black owned, 7% are majority white owned, 4% are majority Latino owned and 38% did not disclose the owner’s race.

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Pritzker administration officials say these licenses, along with efforts to expunge the records of anyone arrested or convicted of cannabis violations in Illinois, are steps toward making the fledgling cannabis industry a more equitable enterprise.

Illinois Dep. Gov. Christian Mitchell said that while the administration acknowledges it took some time to get there, they are pleased with the progress they have seen.

“We’ve reached a really exciting day,” Mitchell said. “41% of [licenses] going to African Americans and another percentage to Latinos and other folks of color, that instantly makes us the most diverse industry in the country…That’s a big deal. And when you add to that, more than

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