Illinois lawmakers have proposed the creation of 75 new cannabis retail licenses to give disadvantaged and minority applicants a second chance at licensing following the controversial licensing lottery to issue an initial 75 dispensary licenses, according to The Pantagraph.
State regulators announced in September that 21 social equity applicants would be included in a lottery to win the initial group of 75 cannabis retail licenses in a move that has since faced backlash and lawsuits. As a result, the original 75 licenses have not yet been issued.
A work group made up of lawmakers and members of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration met this week to finalize details of a bill that would allow the state to issue 75 additional dispensary licenses, The Pantagraph reported. The legislation will be introduced in a lame-duck session that starts Jan. 8, before new lawmakers are sworn in Jan. 13, according to the news outlet.
Applicants would qualify for the new licensing round by achieving a certain score on their applications instead of receiving the highest overall scores, as in the first licensing round, when only applications with perfect scores qualified for the lottery, The Pantagraph reported.
Those who applied in the last licensing round would not have to reapply or pay the licensing fees again, according to the news outlet, but applicants would only be able to submit two applications in an effort to spread the licenses among more companies.