STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS
June 1, 2022
The Illinois Cannabis Business Association welcomes the action by a Cook County judge lifting the legal hold on issuing cannabis dispensary licenses to 185 social equity applicants. While we are pleased with this development, we are disappointed in the decision of the administration to hold these conditional licenses until further guidance is given in the federal residency case, as each delay continues to harm those waiting to enter the industry.
The applicants have put their careers and livelihood on hold in anticipation of these awards, including taking on daunting financial risks to pursue a promise made by the state when the cannabis equity legislation was passed in 2019.
The state must do more to implement policies that provide greater ownership opportunities for minority cannabis entrepreneurs, including set-aside licenses, innovative incubation and co-location programs, and legislation that addresses the challenges for diverse businesses.
The court’s action, and the state’s swift follow up, are both necessary to address ongoing inequities in the licensing process as well as to answer the growing demand for safe recreational cannabis products from consumers across Illinois.
This will allow our industry to become, as anticipated when the law passed, an evolving, growing, thriving industry, instead of the stop and go process that has hindered its true potential.
We are heartened by the court’s action and look forward to celebrating the arrival of these new businesses into the Illinois market.
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