the Illinois Office of Cannabis Regulatory Oversight (CROO) announced on February 7 that it had launched A study of variability in cannabis and its availabilitywhich tasks a contract group with finding examples of discrimination within the local cannabis industry.
according to CROOThe study will “collect and analyze data and report whether discrimination exists in the Illinois cannabis industry,” CROO states on its website. “If there is a finding indicating that discrimination exists, the discrepancy study will assess the impact of discrimination on the state and its residents with respect to entry and participation in the state’s cannabis industry. The discrepancy study will include recommendations to reduce or eliminate any identified barriers to entry.”
I will study Examination of laws and court cases involving cannabis, cannabis and disparity studies, conducting interviews and creating focus groups to input the public, compiling data on the cannabis application process and business information in the state.
A final report must be sent to the General Assembly and the Governor within 12 months, including any “potential remedies” to amend the current cannabis regulation. “This effort is a vital assessment of the state’s social justice cannabis licensing system,” he said Acting CROO Officer Erin Johnson. “We look forward to seeing a final report that truly incorporates the votes of Illinois Social Equity applicants and our new cannabis businesses.”
This comes nearly a year since the state issued a request to find someone to conduct a contrast study in February 2022. This led to the hiring of Nerevo groupInc., a minority- and women-owned contractor group headquartered throughout Illinois, as well as some out-of-state locations.
“Along with our partners, Nerevu is honored to support CROO, IDFPR, and IDOA in building a more inclusive and equitable cannabis industry,” he said. Robin Cummings, founder and CEO of the Nerevu Group. This study is essential in identifying potential differences and appropriate treatments. We are excited to start this project and look forward to connecting with the larger cannabis community.”
Legal sales of adult use of cannabis began in 2020, and in July 2022 Governor JB Pritzker announced that 149 conditional and adult use licenses would be issued and available to Social Justice applicants. “Illinois is leading the way in addressing the War on Drugs like no state has done before, and dispensary ownership that reflects the diversity of our state is a product of that commitment.” Pritzker said. These licenses represent an important step toward accountability for the decades of injustice that preceded the legalization of cannabis. Illinois will continue to deliver on its promises to put equity at the forefront of this process.”
Just a few months later, two of the first social justice cannabis dispensaries in the state, Ivy Hall Damn And Green Rose Clinic open in November 2022 in chicago.
According to Nigel Dandridge, co-founder of Ivy Hall Damen, it took a long time to open his business. “We’ve been working on getting a seat at the table for a while now, and we’re finally able to do it,” Dandridge said. “When this industry first opened up, we didn’t see anyone in our community benefit, or even be able to participate. So it was kind of hypocritical. I think it’s important to show you what we’re doing. We want everyone to benefit. Our people have worked so hard, We are excited to share it with everyone.”
In line with other states in the US, Illinois Rep. La Shawn Ford recently introduced House #1 to legalize the drug in January. Ford’s bill would allow residents 18 and older to seek supervised narcotic treatment. I want to make it clear that this is a hygienic procedure. My proposal does not allow retail sales of psilocybin outside of a regulated therapeutic setting and ensures that drugs purchased for therapeutic use in a service center must be used under medical supervision, and cannot be taken home,” Ford said. “Only licensed facilitators will be permitted to provide treatment in regulated and licensed recovery centers, approved health care facilities, hospices, or pre-approved patient housing.”