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Gov. Pritzker signs law allowing more marijuana licensing to dispensaries and growth operations

“We have been waiting for so long for any news on this,” said Erik Carlson, General Council with Sustainable Innovations.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A more fair and equitable process for marijuana licensing in Illinois - that’s the goal of a new law just signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

“We have been waiting for so long for any news on this,” said Erik Carlson, General Council with Sustainable Innovations.

Carlson says this new law will hopefully make the marijuana license process a little easier and more fair.

“That’s what bill 1443 was doing,” Carlson said. “Allowing these new rounds of lotteries for the real social equity applicants so that you know, people who really had been disproportionately impacted could have a stake in this upcoming industry.”

Seventy-five dispensaries across Illinois opened right after the state legalized cannabis at the start of 2020. Carlson says those sites couldn’t keep up with demand and sent prices even higher. This law will boost the number of dispensaries to 175.

“A lot, a lot of people have been going through this long delay of dispensary applicants,” Carlson said. “A lot of craft grow applicants who have seen their life savings just disappear because of these delays and the sad thing about it is the only people who have been benefitting from this have been the existing players.”

Village of Roscoe Administrator Scott Sanders agrees there are dispensary deserts in certain parts of the state. He says multiple people have applied for a license in Roscoe but didn’t have much luck.

“We do look forward to it being an option here in our community,” Sanders said. “We like our proximity to the state line, we think that we’re maybe an attractive option geographically and sure we always like to make sure we offer everything that our surrounding communities offer and be as full service as possible as well.”

The law will also benefit marijuana growth and distribution operations in the state.

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