New changes to Illinois’ marijuana dispensary application lottery have been announced by Gov. JB Pritzker recently, which aim to support social equity applications.
Pritzker said the state is making changes to the recreational marijuana dispensary application process so that businesses that scored below a certain level on their application will get a chance to make changes, then file again.
Speaking to ABC7 Chicago, Jermell Chavis, who served two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine, has said, “I’m supposed to be a true representation of what program was supposed to address, somehow we fell one point shy of that initial turnout.” He did not make the lottery for 75 dispensary licenses.
“I will continue to fight until we establish a business, because we believe in our model,” said Chavis.
Gov. Pritzker is pausing the process and is now letting applicants to resubmit their applications.
“Other applicants that earn an updated perfect score will join the existing successful applicants in entering the lottery for 75 adult use licenses,” Pritzker said.
The Governor’s office said that applicants who fail to reach the maximum 252 point threshold will get a notice and a score sheet explaining where the application lost points. The applicants will then be able to provide a response and amend their application or ask the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to rescore their application.
The Governor is hoping to award the 75 licenses this fall.
“As we worked with the General Assembly, equity and fairness have always been at the heart of our approach to legalizing cannabis, and when we heard significant concerns from numerous stakeholders about the process to award dispensary licenses, I said we needed to take a pause to fix their concerns, within the bounds of our landmark law,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “While this process remains a marathon and not a sprint, we believe that these new steps will inject more equity and fairness in the first round of license awards and provide insight as we improve the process for future rounds.”
After the 75 licenses awarded and before the next 110 are handed out, the Pritzker administration plans on conducting a disparity study to make sure the process is being done fairly.