The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois believes social equity licenses must be issued as soon as possible and the General Assembly should focus on ensuring any change to cannabis law puts awards for social equity applicants at the forefront. This is no time for distractions. We have made clear that any negotiations on the law should occur between the General Assembly and the social equity applicants who have had their lives on hold waiting for licenses to be awarded.

CBAI has taken decisive action to ensure that social equity applicants have the best chance of success entering the marketplace:

• The CBAI Minority Access Committee, wholly comprised of social equity applicants, is negotiating with members of the General Assembly and other social equity groups on the association’s behalf for legislation that advances the interests of minority applicants.
• CBAI prioritizes issuing licenses to social equity applicants above all other changes in cannabis law, and continues to call on the Pritzker administration to focus its efforts on getting licenses into the hands of those the law was designed to help.
• CBAI has called for the State of Illinois to reimburse social equity applicants for costs associated with the delay in awarding licenses.
• CBAI incubates, coaches and mentors social equity applicants and established the Minority Business Associate Membership to give minorities a stronger voice in our association and in the industry statewide.

From the moment the cannabis bill became law, CBAI has advocated for policies that provide greater ownership opportunities for minority cannabis entrepreneurs, including set-aside licenses, innovative incubation and co-location programs, and omnibus legislative packages that would move the state forward on awarding social equity licenses.