CHICAGO (CBS) — Recreational marijuana sales continue to break records in Illinois, but the same companies have continued to cash in.
Sales record after sales record has been shattered – even through the pandemic – as the State of Illinois has raked in more than $100 million in taxes and fees. And medical marijuana companies got the first go at recreational weed and have continued to profit.
But after more than a year of delays, a big change came Thursday such that means a more diverse group of people can start selling pot.
As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported Thursday, and has been tracking from the beginning, not one minority-owned pot business has opened up shop yet because of continued delays that have been going on for more than a year.
Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature and announcement on HB 1443 Thursday finally gets the ball rolling in giving those trying to break into the industry a chance to do it – with three license lotteries announced for the social equity applicants who have been waiting and waiting.
They state will distribute 185 licenses to operate adult-use cannabis dispensaries through those lotteries, starting July 29.
“Over the past century, the failed war on drugs has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted Black and brown communities,’ Gov. Pritzker said in a news release. “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.”
The state also announced more