According to the Chicago Sun Times, a total of 21 applicants qualified for the 75 new licenses.
The grading of 1,667 received applications has done by a global accounting firm, confirmed the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The elected applicants qualify as social equity candidates and were provided support during the application process, as the state is poised to build diversity in an industry where white men prevail.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s key cannabis adviser Toi Hutchinson said Thursday they are “extremely gratified” social equity applicants were granted every license in this round.
“Equity has been at the center of this legislation from day one of negotiations, as we worked to create a system that prioritizes social equity applicants and reinvests revenues in communities hit hardest by the war on drugs,” added Hutchinson.
Around 50 of the licenses will be granted to retail locations in the Chicago region, the newspaper reported.
However, socially equity candidates who didn’t qualify are disappointed, saying it’s “insane” the lottery includes so few entrants.
“That doesn’t sound to me like social equity,” Michael Malcolm, a real estate broker from Morgan Park, said. “That sounds like big business.”
Meanwhile, the weed business in Illinois is booming.
The state’s marijuana tax revenue amounted to $52 million for the six months since the legalization of recreational use.
Moreover, its cannabis sales totaled $239 million for the same period.
According to Marijuana Moment, the Prairie State intends to utilize funds to support communities that have suffered the drug war’s consequences.
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.