SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Marijuana was legalized in January 2020, and one organization is fuming saying there isn’t one Black or brown owned cannabis business in Illinois.
Minority marijuana license holders are calling on the state to loosen ownership regulations in order to make it easier to create and build retail stores.
Many of them cite issues with the state’s cannabis social equity program.
The program was designed to offer disadvantaged people and communities of color disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs an opportunity to benefit from the cannabis industry.
But instead, license holders say the process has been plagued by red tape.
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“Since January of 2020, over $3 billion has been made through the cultivation and sale of cannabis in Illinois. Not a single dollar was made by a Black or brown business holder,” said Ambrose Jackson.
The group says since Toi Hutchinson, a former member of the Illinois Senator, vacated the state’s weed czar position late last year, they’ve had no point of contact for anyone in the governor’s office to handle their issues.