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Illinois judge finally gives 185 social equity cannabis stores the green light

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Cannabis consumers in Illinois may have noticed that it is very difficult to find social stock retailers.

The Hemp market in Illinois It is set to expand with the issuance of 185 new retail licenses to social equity applicants. On Friday, May 27, Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Mullen terminated a court-ordered stay on licenses that had halted the opening of all new stores for nearly a year.

The early stay, which was ordered last August by Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius, Putting Social Justice Permits on Ice While other Illinois applicants have argued their eligibility for social justice status in court. The residence allowed 55 non-social cannabis stores to open for business, while social equity applicants had to remain without any revenue for the past 10 months.

Slowing social justice in the cannabis trade in Illinois

Illinois started with great fanfare in the adult use market, bringing in millions of sales from both locals and visitors from neighbouring countries Since the opening of the market in January 1.

When the adult use program began, state officials earlier announced an ambitious list of goals to integrate social justice into the Illinois cannabis industry—and they have struggled to achieve these goals with varying degrees of success.

Governor Governor JB Pritzker kept his promise To bring more cannabis justice into the state, by writing off nearly half a million cannabis convictions. Process and growth licenses have been rolled out in a seamless and comprehensive manner. In fact, of the 40 conditional licenses granted to artisanal farmers in Illinois, 80% of owners identify as non-white, and 88% qualify as social equity applicants. Illinois also established a 30 million dollar fund To assist Social Justice license holders.

But this success did not carry over to the retail licensing program.

How retail social equity licenses will shape (and have shaped) the Illinois market

With the addition of 185 new retail businesses, the Illinois market is set to expand more than 160%. This market is expected to open up new dynamics.

Illinois cannabis consumers will have more locations to shop, along with the option of a more rewarding shopping experience knowing that they support a social equity retailer. This could translate to their spending on cannabis. For example, this report shows that Socially responsible consumer spending increased 25% in 2021 Highlighting the unique patterns of the more conscious consumer.

So far, socially conscious cannabis consumers in Illinois have been denied the opportunity to support social equity retailers with their money. Once this new wave of retail licensees starts opening stores, customers will finally have the opportunity to focus their spending if they so choose.

What we don’t know is when the 185 license holders will get their final licence. While the moratorium is currently being lifted, there is no guarantee that other companies that did not qualify for the state’s stock program will not file further lawsuits.

Many potential business owners – shareholder and non-shareholder applicants – still have a bad taste in their mouths about the way the state initially evaluated their applications. Their criticism put the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation under the microscope, and they demanded that corrective action.

In response, the state created three more license lotteries planned for the summer of 2022 to compensate for the failed license launch.

Will Illinois social equity retailers finally get their time to shine?

Licensors who have been able to get past the waiting period are behind schedule to get their share of the state’s multimillion-dollar legal cannabis industry. In the meantime, the budding business owners who did not have hundreds of thousands The dollars it took to maintain idle storefronts is the biggest casualty of Illinois’ social justice slowdown.

The longer it takes to sort it out, the more cannabis consumers in Illinois are interested in supporting minority-owned cannabis businesses.


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