Social equity applicants have invested their life savings, putting their lives on hold in the hopes of joining the cannabis industry as promised by the State of Illinois. This is the second time the State’s process for awarding cannabis licenses has failed these applicants, first last summer and here again six months later. Action is urgently needed to help regain trust in the process and fulfill the original intent of the adult‐use program.

The State of Illinois needs to engage in a transparent, inclusive and collaborative conversation with stakeholders, including other social equity organizations, to work toward an equitable solution.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois will continue to advocate on behalf of social equity applicants and minority cannabis entrepreneurs. The Minority Access Committee, which was formed last summer, has been working diligently with lawmakers, stakeholders and cannabis businesses to give minority entrepreneurs the best chance at success in building new businesses in their communities.