CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker is hours away from signing a bill into law that will change how marijuana licenses are doled out.
It comes after a lot of controversy and outrage about the program. There are zero minority owned or even female owned dispensaries in the state.
“If I live in Winnetka and I am very rich and wealthy, all I need to do is make a promise that I will hire someone from one of those areas that’s been disadvantaged by the war on drugs as a social equity applicant. We eliminated that,” said State Representative La Shawn Ford.
Ford, a Democrat from the 8th District, co-sponsored House bill 1443 to make the marijuana license lottery system more equitable.
“We also said you have to have a conviction on your record or someone in their family must have a conviction on their record,” said Ford.
The legislation expands cannabis licenses in Illinois to include 175, which is up from the original 75. Fifty licenses will solely be for “social equity applicants” after the state had a botched scoring system.
West suburban businessman David Scott hopes this time his team gets a fair and equitable shot at a license.
“We have our eyes on like five locations. Some of them we already secured, we are ready to hit the ground,” said Scott.
Governor Pritzker will announce Thursday when the next license lottery will take place.