State leaders celebrate Illinois' first Black-owned marijuana dispensary

State leaders are celebrating one of Illinois' first Black-owned marijuana dispensaries.

Ivy Hall is located in Bucktown, and it holds one of the first two social equity licenses issued by the state of Illinois for a recreational marijuana dispensary. 

Ivy Hall is majority owned by Nigel Dandrige and his family, who are from Chicago


"We are pleased to represent the early stages of a much broader movement, toward an equitable cannabis landscape that's gaining momentum from coast to coast as well as within conversations, surrounding cannabis policy at the highest levels of government," said Dandrige.

Dandrige says there are already plans to expand the Ivy Hall brand over the next year and a half, with the goal of operating 10 dispensaries in Illinois. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker attended Wednesday's celebration and says all 192 of the state's social equity licenses have been conditionally approved. 

"As other licensees across the cannabis industries are hard at work, we recently introduced a program offering direct forgivable loans to make it easier for all of our conditionally approved social equity loan applicants to get the capital they need to open their business," said Pritzker.

Illinois' cannabis sales have totaled over $1.7 billion this year alone.