Illinois to Unveil Plan For 110 New Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses
The proposal includes reserving 35 social equity licenses.
May 4, 2021
. Tony Lange
As adult-use cannabis sales are on pace to break $1 billion this year in Illinois, plans to roll out 110 new retail licenses are expected to be introduced this week.
The state banked a record $114,961,668 in cannabis sales last month, bringing its total to roughly $393.7 million for 2021, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s monthly sales figures.
But since Illinois started cashing in on the cannabis industry at the beginning of 2020, licensing disputes—for both retail and cultivation—have led lawmakers to try, and try again, to enact changes that would end the “monopoly” of the industry in the state, as Rep. La Shawn Ford called it.
An African American Democrat from Chicago, Ford introduced legislation Feb. 3 that would create up to 110 additional retail licenses, 35 of which would be reserved as social equity licenses for those affected most by prohibition. Plans for rolling out those new licenses are expected this week, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Those 110 new licenses are in addition to 75 original retail licenses that are currently pending, but were previously delayed and held up in legal disputes after regulators announced in September that only 21 social equity applicants would be included in a lottery to win those licenses.