The long wait for the Illinois cannabis application finalists is finally over. But, it did not go as expected. Illinois is working on a way to diversify the marijuana industry, and it took a wrong turn. Our marijuana consultants in Illinois at Quantum 9 are here to discuss what exactly is going on.
So, What Happened with Illinois Cannabis Applications?
Well, 75 new licenses for retail marijuana shops are divided among just 21 applicants. These 21 applicants all received perfect scores, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Now, the department will choose winners from a lottery system at the end of this month.
The Disappointment with Social Equity in Illinois
As mentioned before, Illinois makes efforts to diversify the marijuana industry. The social equity program helps ensure that members who are affected by crime and poverty because of the war on drugs have a piece of the legal cannabis business. Well, this backfired with Illinois cannabis applications.
“The administration has screwed us”
Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, a member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, states that “seventy-five licenses are going to 21 applicants. Where is the equity in that? The lottery should not take place until wholesale changes happen. At this moment when our country demands racial equity, the administration has screwed us.”
The Black Caucus also suggested that the governor’s office should slow down the licensing process so that they can examine the process more clearly and make some changes. They want changes in the Illinois cannabis application scoring system, point allocation structure, tiebreaker policy, and the overall selection process.
They hope to see these changes before the next round of Illinois cannabis licenses. These include craft growers, transporters, and infusers. The state plans to issue these later this month as well. Our marijuana consultants in Illinois hope for the best with this situation.
What’s Next for Illinois Cannabis Applications?
As mentioned, a lottery is to happen at the end of Septemeber. Our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 have opinions about the situation. During an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, our CEO, Michael Mayes, states that “it’s hard to believe there were that many ties.” He also says that he didn’t expect all of the licenses to be decided by the lottery and that it has taken him back.
As for what’s next, this information is still very new and unknown. That said, our cannabis consultants keep up with new information about the Illinois cannabis industry. It is an important time for the cannabis world right now. Reach out to us for any questions you may have about Illinois cannabis applications. If you want to talk to a marijuana consultant in Illinois, click here.