Bill creating new marijuana dispensary licenses clears House

Bill creating new marijuana dispensary licenses clears House

By RAYMON TRONCOSO
Capitol News Illinois
rtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation revamping the state’s system for awarding marijuana dispensary licenses passed the House on Tuesday.

The measure is meant to address shortcomings in the 2019 Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, specifically in regard to a license lottery that was delayed by the pandemic, controversy and legal disputes for over a year.

Amendments to House Bill 1443, sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford, would create two new marijuana dispensary lotteries offering 55 licenses each while addressing lingering concerns regarding the original 75 licenses established in the 2019 law.

It passed the House in a 70-33 vote with bipartisan support, but also bipartisan opposition. Democratic Rep. Carol Ammons, of Urbana questioned whether his legislation accomplished the social equity spirit of the initial marijuana legalization legislation.

“My dispensaries in Champaign-Urbana can be owned by a group from other states, taking the resources from Champaign-Urbana to Michigan, Ohio or some other state,” Ammons said. “I don’t do lotteries.”

Ford described his bill as the best way to increase the possibility of local Black and brown communities in Illinois getting access to the booming marijuana industry.

“I wish I could write a bill that would guarantee that Black people wouldn’t worry about the things that we worry about today, and that there was justice for all,” Ford said.

The 75 licenses initially set by the 2019 law were supposed to be granted by May 2020, but were sidelined by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were later delayed again following backlash over how applicants for the licenses were scored, and pushed back a third time following lawsuits against the state by the finalists of the initial lottery after Gov. JB Pritzker announced applications that did not meet the cut could be edited and rescored.

Originally, the process as intended would award licenses in order of applicant scores with tiebreaker lotteries for applicants who received the same score. However, after just 21 of more than 900 applicants received a perfect score to become eligible for the lottery, a hold was placed on the lottery system.

Under Ford’s legislation, the first new batch of 55 licenses would be offered through a “Qualifying Applicant Lottery” which would only be open to applicants who scored 85 percent or higher on submissions for the first 75 licenses.

This would provide a chance at dispensary licenses to firms who did not receive a perfect score and were excluded from the initial 75-license lottery, and firms who did qualify for the initial tiebreaker lottery but have not hit the 10-license cap for applicants.

The second new batch of 55 licenses would be offered through a “Social Equity Justice Involved Lottery.” Those eligible must have scored 85 percent or higher on their submission, and must also qualify as a social equity applicant. That means 51 percent of the firm’s ownership must be someone who has lived in an area impacted by the war on drugs for 10 years, have been arrested or convicted of a marijuana crime eligible for expungement, or be a member of a family impacted by the war on drugs.

Another lottery of five licenses for medical cannabis dispensaries would also be open to applicants who were eligible for the social equity or qualifying lotteries.

According to Ford, based on his conversations with the Pritzker administration, the new scores for amended applications will be released and the initial lottery will be completed following the passage and signing of HB 1443.

“As a state that values making our laws reflective of our diverse communities, we must ensure that social justice is at the center of everything we do,” Pritzker said in a statement praising the passage of the bill Tuesday.

Ford celebrated the passage of the bill in his own statement released following the House vote.

“Instead of allowing the wealthy few to maintain control of this new industry, let’s give people in areas that have been left behind a real opportunity to start a local business that is owned and operated by members of the community,” he said.

HB 1443 now heads to the Senate, where the General Assembly has until Monday’s legislative deadline to pass it with a simple majority.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

GSWNH_OLSLincolnTomb_052424

Learning history is fun, honest

Spread the love

Spread the love Seventh and eighth graders from Our Lady of the Snows School clamor to rub the nose of a bust of President Abraham Lincoln during a field trip to Springfield earlier this month. Rubbing the nose of the famous bust of Honest Abe–a part of the tomb of the nation’s 16th President–is said…

13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn

Fight to save ShotSpotter is still alive

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . As you have read several times in the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, the people of Clearing and Garfield Ridge are clear in their support of keeping ShotSpotter technology deployed in Chicago, to help police fight crime. So I won’t go over old…

GSWNH_ColdPlanerSpitsAsphalt_052424

63rd Street getting a facelift

Spread the love

Spread the love. Quinn hails federally funded resurfacing project  . By Tim Hadac The old joke about there being not four seasons, but just two in Chicago each year—winter and construction—was apparent late last week as heavy equipment arrived in Clearing. As 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn and other city officials gathered for an outdoor…

23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares

Tabares blasts Foxx over ‘no seizure’ idea

Spread the love

Spread the love. Brands State’s Attorney as ‘pro-criminal’ .  By Tim Hadac Twenty-third Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares this week blasted outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx over a possible change in how crimes are—or are not–prosecuted.Foxx recently said she is considering a plan to decline to prosecute weapons and drug crimes detected by routine…

GSWNH_OLSPrincipal_052424

School can get messy

Spread the love

Spread the love Second grader Weronika Kozielec squirts ketchup on the head of Our Lady of the Snows School Principal Christina Avis at a recent gathering in the parking lot of the school, 4810 S. Leamington. But the condiment was not all that was dumped on the principal. Students, faculty and staff laughed and cheered…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 22, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Peggy Zabicki

Brother, what a day today is

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . May 24 is National Brothers Day. The word “brother” comes from the Latin root for “frater” and the Proto-Germanic word “brothar” which itself comes from the Proto-Indo-European root “bhrater.”  I’m sure everyone already knows that, but…

Mary Stanek

May your Memorial Day be meaningful

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . I hope we all will have a meaningful Memorial Day. Let us remember that this day is set to honor military personnel who died in service of their country. Memorial Day also marks…

volleyball

Boys Volleyball | Sandburg seeks 26th regional title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Coming off the worst season in program history in 2023, Sandburg was not going to settle for anything less than better results this year. Past the midway point of this season, however, the Eagles had a record of 11-8. But they closed the regular season strong, winning 11 of…

Reavis players celebrate after the Rams clinched the South Suburban Red title with a 3-0 win over Oak Lawn. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | Red-hot Reavis looks to make noise in postseason

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Reavis is determined to send their head coach Don Erickson into retirement on a high note and will head into the postseason red hot and as South Suburban Red champions. The Rams defeated Oak Lawn 3-0 for the second straight day on May 15 to clinch the conference title.…

Neighbors

GSWNH_OLSLincolnTomb_052424

Learning history is fun, honest

Spread the love

Spread the love Seventh and eighth graders from Our Lady of the Snows School clamor to rub the nose of a bust of President Abraham Lincoln during a field trip to Springfield earlier this month. Rubbing the nose of the famous bust of Honest Abe–a part of the tomb of the nation’s 16th President–is said…

13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn

Fight to save ShotSpotter is still alive

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . As you have read several times in the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, the people of Clearing and Garfield Ridge are clear in their support of keeping ShotSpotter technology deployed in Chicago, to help police fight crime. So I won’t go over old…

GSWNH_ColdPlanerSpitsAsphalt_052424

63rd Street getting a facelift

Spread the love

Spread the love. Quinn hails federally funded resurfacing project  . By Tim Hadac The old joke about there being not four seasons, but just two in Chicago each year—winter and construction—was apparent late last week as heavy equipment arrived in Clearing. As 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn and other city officials gathered for an outdoor…

23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares

Tabares blasts Foxx over ‘no seizure’ idea

Spread the love

Spread the love. Brands State’s Attorney as ‘pro-criminal’ .  By Tim Hadac Twenty-third Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares this week blasted outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx over a possible change in how crimes are—or are not–prosecuted.Foxx recently said she is considering a plan to decline to prosecute weapons and drug crimes detected by routine…

GSWNH_OLSPrincipal_052424

School can get messy

Spread the love

Spread the love Second grader Weronika Kozielec squirts ketchup on the head of Our Lady of the Snows School Principal Christina Avis at a recent gathering in the parking lot of the school, 4810 S. Leamington. But the condiment was not all that was dumped on the principal. Students, faculty and staff laughed and cheered…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 22, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Peggy Zabicki

Brother, what a day today is

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . May 24 is National Brothers Day. The word “brother” comes from the Latin root for “frater” and the Proto-Germanic word “brothar” which itself comes from the Proto-Indo-European root “bhrater.”  I’m sure everyone already knows that, but…

Mary Stanek

May your Memorial Day be meaningful

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . I hope we all will have a meaningful Memorial Day. Let us remember that this day is set to honor military personnel who died in service of their country. Memorial Day also marks…

volleyball

Boys Volleyball | Sandburg seeks 26th regional title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Coming off the worst season in program history in 2023, Sandburg was not going to settle for anything less than better results this year. Past the midway point of this season, however, the Eagles had a record of 11-8. But they closed the regular season strong, winning 11 of…

Reavis players celebrate after the Rams clinched the South Suburban Red title with a 3-0 win over Oak Lawn. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | Red-hot Reavis looks to make noise in postseason

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Reavis is determined to send their head coach Don Erickson into retirement on a high note and will head into the postseason red hot and as South Suburban Red champions. The Rams defeated Oak Lawn 3-0 for the second straight day on May 15 to clinch the conference title.…