Chicago (WLS) – Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday celebrated a milestone for the cannabis industry by opening the state’s first “Social Justice” dispensary. But it also opened the door to the possibility of cannabis delivery.
Pritzker wasn’t calling for Illinois to join other states allowing consumers to order online and have their groceries delivered like pizza, but he said today he supports the idea.
Pritzker toured Ivy Hall Wednesday morning, the Bucktown dispensary that became the first social justice facility in the state to open a few weeks early. The program is designed to ensure that minorities have access to the profitable cannabis business and get going now after a number of fits and starts.
“I am living proof that Illinois is delivering on its promise of producing a more equitable landscape for cannabis for generations to come,” said Nigel Dandridge, co-owner of Ivy Hall Dispensary.
Pritzker said all 192 licenses have now been issued and several hurdles have been removed that would allow many more social equity licensees to open their facilities in the coming months.
“A big part of the challenge was the court system and the amount of time it takes to get through the court system, where people get sued because they didn’t get a lottery winner to get a license,” Pritzker said.
But for dispensary owners and cannabis consumers, Pritzker delivered some encouraging news, opening the door to marijuana delivery, something other states are already doing.
“At first glance, without the data in front of me, I think as long as it’s organized, as long as we make sure that the person asking for it gets it, that they’re legally allowed to do so, it would look to me like someone coming into a store,” Pritzker said.
“I think it’s a natural progression of where cannabis is in Illinois right now,” said Jason Erkes, a spokesperson for Sunnyside Dispensaries. “The whole point of the program is to make it accessible and these days you can order just about anything from the palm of your hand, and cannabis should be no exception.”
For social justice licenses, a spokesperson for the Kana Alliance says new government guidance has eliminated frustrating regulations that limited the sources of capital needed to open dispensaries.
“They told us, ‘Bring in someone who works in this field,’” said Ricky Hendon, a spokesperson for the Cana Coalition. “Well, the only people who work in this field are white men, so who are you going to go to raise money and get experience with other than white men.”
All of that has now been clarified, Hendon said, along with some other regulations on facility size for craft farmers, helping the industry move the way it was supposed to on the social justice front.