New marijuana licensing bill heads to House floor

New marijuana licensing bill heads to House floor

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – A bill aimed at allowing more people from distressed communities to get into the lucrative recreational marijuana business is on its way to the House floor as lawmakers head into the final days of the spring 2021 session.

“The bill will correct a flawed license lottery system that has prevented minorities from ownership in the industry,” Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, the bill’s chief sponsor, said during a news conference Thursday.

House Bill 1443 is a follow-up to the landmark bill that passed in 2019 legalizing and regulating the sale and use of recreational marijuana. Under that law, dispensaries that were already licensed to sell medical marijuana immediately became eligible to apply for recreational-use licenses while a number of other licenses were set aside for so-called “social equity” applicants.

Those were to be businesses run by people from communities that were disproportionately affected by over-policing and criminal drug prosecutions during what former President Richard Nixon dubbed the “war on drugs,” as well as individuals and family members of people who had previously been prosecuted for marijuana violations.

The first 75 social equity licenses were supposed to go out last year through a lottery system, but that was put on hold when, out of more than 900 applications filed, only 21 received perfect scores making them eligible to enter the lottery.

Since then, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has given those who didn’t make the cut a chance to amend their applications, and it plans to go through a second scoring process before determining which ones will qualify for the lottery.

Ford’s proposal, meanwhile, calls for establishing two more lotteries in which a total of 110 dispensary licenses will be available.

One of those would be for applicants who received a score of 85 percent or better on their initial application and did not receive a license in the initial lottery; the other would be specifically for applicants with similar scores who have personally been convicted of a marijuana offense or has a family member with such a conviction.

Former state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, who now serves as Gov. JB Pritzker’s cannabis policy advisor, said during a House Executive Committee hearing Thursday that lowering the “cut score” for applicants to get into the other lotteries would open the way for about 65 percent of the applicant pool to have a chance for a license.

Ford acknowledged that even with the additional lotteries, some applicants still will not get a license, but he said it was important to give more people from disproportionately impacted communities an opportunity to get into the new industry.

“When this all started with working with the social equity applicants, all they asked for is a chance, and that’s what they’re asking for now,” Ford said during a committee hearing Thursday. “They understand that this is a lottery, and this is a gamble. … But they really just want an opportunity to get what they paid for. And that’s what we’re trying to do right now.”

The bill passed out of the House Executive Committee by a vote of 15-0. It now heads to the full House for consideration.

 

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

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 19, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Peggy Zabicki

May this summer be a good season

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . “Summer was our best season. It was sleeping on the screened porch on cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse, summer was everything good to eat. It was a thousand colors in a parched landscape.”…

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the…

NWSL ball

Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after…

Mayor Terry Vorderer presents a plaque to Michael Reising for earning Eagle Scout recognition. The award was presented during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11 night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn police target drivers who ignore stop signs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Oak Lawn police are going to crack down on reckless drivers who repeatedly blow stop signs throughout the village. And police will begin enforcing those measures within the next two weeks. The subject was brought up during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11. Village Manager Tom Phelan said…

Student volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence assist in the
burial of 160 indigents  last week at Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence help indigent on their final journey

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Father Larry Sullivan, a director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of Christ the King Parish, joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and spoke words of love, respect, and God at the 35th annual committal service at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The service on June 6 at…

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

Neighbors

Hadi Isbaih

Palos Heights tax preparer convicted of Covid-relief fraud

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Palos Heights tax preparer who operates a business in Bridgeview has been convicted on federal charges for fraudulently assisting customers in obtaining loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The jury in U.S. District Court in Chicago on June 10 convicted Hadi Isbaih, 42, on all…

An artist's renderings of what the renovated Fine Arts Center will look like at Shepard High School, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Renovations begin on Shepard High School theater

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Shepard High School, which prides itself in the fine arts, will soon have a beautifully reconstructed theater right on its Palos Heights campus. The Community High School District 218 Board of Education recently unanimously approved funding for the renovation of the Fine Arts Center at the high school at 13049…

Ribhi “Spiderman” Gaber wishes everyone at Glen Oak School a great summer. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Young Spiderman fan wishes students a great summer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Spiderman-kid bids farewell and wishes a beautiful summer break to students of Glen Oak Elementary in Hickory Hills. Since the summer of 2023, when he discovered the movie “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse,” a story about multiple Spidermen from different dimensions, 6-year-old Ribhi Gaber has been more than just a fan…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth finalizes rules for open burning in village

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle After several discussions over the past month, the Village of Worth has new guidelines for open burning by businesses and in residential areas. Mayor Mary Werner mentioned during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night that a discrepancy in an ordinance regarding open burning had a 10 p.m. deadline. However,…

Residents were invited out to join Orland Township Supervisor Paul O'Grady for an event called, Minds Matter 2024, on May 16 at Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township event focuses on mental health

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Orland Township is taking the time to focus on mental health. Residents were invited out to join Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady for an event called, Minds Matter 2024, on May 16 at Orland Township, located at 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park. “This was an excellent opportunity to…

bridgeview police logo

Bridgeview shooting not related to Summer Smash

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha on Monday wanted to emphasize that a shooting in the village Saturday night had nothing to do with the Summer Smash music festival that took place over the weekend at SeatGeek Stadium. “It was an isolated incident,” he said. “Completely unrelated to the Summer Smash…

lyons township logo

Summer jobs available for youths through Lyons Township

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The summer jobs program offered each year by the Township of Lyons is up and running. The program for high school and college students “is designed to give young individuals an opportunity for summer employment,” Trustee Donna McDonald said at the township board’s June 11 meeting. The jobs program started…

Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott holds his first grandson, Henry James Martin. (Photo courtesy of Sean McDermott)

Proud mayor grandpa hands out candy bars at meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It’s a tradition for new fathers to hand out cigars after the birth of a child. The cigar’s wrappers are blue for a boy and pink for a girl. If they’re non-smokers, new dads have been known to hand out bubblegum shaped like cigars. Sometimes, proud grandfathers get into the…

summit police logo

Pair busted for Summit phone store robberies

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Two Chicago men have been charged with robbing two phone stores in Summit earlier this year. Jacari Franklin and Austin White are charged with robbing the T-Mobile store at 5640 S. Harlem Ave. on March 28 and the AT&T store at Archer and Harlem avenues on April 18, police said.…

Bruce Quintos (right) visits with Lyons Village Trustee Dan Hilker in front of Quintos’ 1957 Chevy Bel Air that he lovingly restored. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Car enthusiasts crowd annual Father’s Day show in Lyons.

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Held under sunny and warm skies Sunday, the annual Father’s Day Car Show in Lyons was deemed a smashing success by participants and visitors. Not only were car lovers able to admire the four-wheeled beauties, some owners spent quality time with Dad or a spouse. Don Raschka, 80, of Central…