Ambrose Jackson, CEO of Helios Labs, which holds an Illinois craft grow license, two dispensary licenses and a secure transportation license. Credit: Submitted
It’s been twenty-six months since Illinois cannabis dispensary licenses applications were first due and the wait for resolution has taken on unexpected, mentally taxing dimensions for some.
“It feels like a game of hopscotch,” said applicant Ambrose Jackson. “You’re trying to figure out when to jump or not, based on the complete lack of information. Paying rent and operating costs for a year plus.”
“It creates an environment of uncertainty not just for us but for all the social equity applicants that are trying to navigate finding locations, getting local approvals, raising money from investors,” applicant David Alport told Grown In recently.
“It hurts everyone’s business. You have to look beyond the legal issues,” said Akele Parnell, another dispensary applicant. ”What happens to the market when this is all done? What happens to Black and brown entrepreneurs in two to three years?”
“The mental health impact of everyone involved,” added Jackson. “It feels more like a pipe dream. It’s very hard to not become disillusioned with the state of cannabis across the country.”
In January 2020, 3,895