Pritzker also signed HB 1443, a law that changes how marijuana licenses are distributed.
The announcement comes after a lot of controversy and outrage over the program's lack of diversity. There are zero minority-owned or even female-owned dispensaries in the state.
"Over the past century, the failed war on drugs has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted Black and brown communities," Pritzker said in a statement. "Legalizing adult-use cannabis brought about an important change and this latest piece of legislation helps move us even closer to our goal of establishing a cannabis industry in Illinois that doesn’t shy away from the pain caused by the war on drugs, but instead centers equity and community reinvestment as the key to moving forward."
Additionally, over 200 people across the state have qualified to receive Craft Grow, Infuser, and Transporter licenses, the first set of licenses to be awarded under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA). Of those eligible to receive the licenses, 67 percent identify as non-white and 100 percent qualified as social equity applicants.
- July 29th: the lottery for qualifying applicants who received who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points will be held for the 55 licenses in that category.
- August 5th: the lottery for social equity justice-involved applicants who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points and are located in a disproportionately impacted area or have an eligible conviction will be held for the 55 available licenses in that category.
- August 19th: the final lottery will be held for top scoring, tied applicants for the original 75 licenses outlined in the CRTA.
All lotteries for all cannabis-related licenses are anonymous. All draws will be automated via a computer and multiple quality assurance checks will be run before delivering the final results of each lottery.
The results of each lottery will be available by 5 p.m. on the day of the draws.
Under the CRTA, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is permitted to issue 75 conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses. HB 1443, which was introduced by Representative LaShawn Ford and Leader Lightford and supported by the administration, expands opportunities by creating two new lotteries:
- A social equity justice-involved lottery for 55 additional licenses to be awarded to: those who have received a score of at least 85% on their application, or 213 out of a total of 250 possible points; and live in a disproportionately impacted area, has an eligible cannabis conviction, or has a family member with an eligible cannabis conviction;
- those who have received a score of at least 85% on their application, or 213 out of a total of 250 possible points; and
- live in a disproportionately impacted area, has an eligible cannabis conviction, or has a family member with an eligible cannabis conviction;
- A lottery for an additional 55 licenses for applicants who had a score of at least 85% on their application. In total, 185 dispensary licenses will be determined through the lottery process.
Craft Grow, Infuser and Transportation
In addition to dispensary licenses, the Illinois Department of Agriculture issued notifications to applicants who are eligible to receive one of 213 total licenses: 40 craft grow, 32 infuser, and 141 transporter.
For more information on craft grow, infuser, and transporter licenses, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.