Marijuana licensing reform passes through both houses, Pritzker says he will sign it Capitolnewsillinois.com
Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford speaks in the Illinois Senate on Friday. (Credit: Blueroomstream.com)
Legislation creates two new lotteries for 110 additional licenses
By RAYMON TRONCOSO
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate on Friday passed a bill creating new licenses and lotteries for marijuana dispensary licenses, addressing issues that have hampered the process established by a 2019 law legalizing recreational marijuana .
House Bill 1443 would create two new marijuana dispensary lotteries each offering 55 licenses, as well as resolving ongoing disputes over the fate of 75 marijuana dispensary licenses that have been on hold for more than a year.
The house has passed before House bill 1443 Tuesday. In a written statement on Friday, Governor JB Pritzker said he looked forward to signing the bill “so that we can begin the next phase of building a cannabis industry that reflects the diversity of all our people. “
Cannabis regulations and tax law of 2019 required that the original 75 licenses created by the law be issued by May 2020.
“The goal here is to create a diverse cannabis industry with increased opportunities for social equity contenders,” Senator Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said during the indoor debate. . “There was a war on drugs that we all know so well, especially those of us in the black community, there were provisions in the (CRTA) that dealt with that, but we wanted to make sure that there was also the property. ”
After only 21 of the more than 900 applicants were deemed eligible to participate in a lottery for all 75 licenses, the legislative backlash from the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus and the Latino Caucus prompted the Pritzker administration to suspend the lottery and shut down the lottery. provide the opportunity to companies that have failed to reach. the threshold to resubmit their application.
This prompted legal action from some of the lottery’s 21 finalists, who alleged it violated the 2019 law.
The new legislation serves as a compromise, and its sponsors, along with the Pritzker administration, have indicated that the lawsuits will end and the original lottery will continue upon the signing of HB 1443.
Under the new provision, the first new batch of 55 licenses will be offered through a “Eligible Applicants Lottery” which would only be open to applicants who score 85% or more on submissions for the. 75 first licenses.
This would give companies that did not receive a perfect score and were excluded from the initial lottery of 75 licenses, and companies that qualified for the initial tie-breaker lottery but did not reach the cap of 10. licenses for the candidates for this first lottery, a chance. to earn more licenses.
The second new batch of 55 licenses would be offered through a “lottery for social equity and involved justice”. Eligible individuals must have achieved a score of 85% or above when submitting and must also qualify as a Social Equity Candidate. This means that 51% of the company’s ownership must be someone who has lived in an area affected by the War on Drugs for 10 years, who has been arrested or convicted of a marijuana-related crime that may cause subject to radiation, or who is a member of a family affected by the war on drugs.
A business in either of these lotteries cannot win more than two licenses, while those in the original lottery can still earn up to 10 dispensary licenses.
Another five-license lottery for medical cannabis dispensaries would also be open to eligible applicants for social equity or eligible lotteries.
He passed the Senate 50 to 3 and will be sent to Pritzker for his signature.
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