Rally calls for fairer process to get Illinois marijuana dispensary license

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A rally at the Thompson Center Tuesday called for a fairer process to get a marijuana dispensary license in Illinois.

"We are tired of waiting. No more caps, no more lotteries, no more games," said Jose Lumbreras of True Social equity in Cannabis.

The organization called for the rally after Governor JB Pritzker announced a new lottery for licenses for those impacted by aggressive marijuana laws. Organizers say they don't want a lottery to decide who can create a cannabis business in their neighborhood.

"Applicants have been devastated by what should have been a solution from the legacy market to the legal market. Instead, their life savings have been devastated; their time, their hop, their efforts have been in vain," said Juan Aguirre, True Social Equity in Cannabis.

Two weeks ago, Pritzker announced that at least 50 new adult use cannabis dispensary licenses would be issued by the end of 2022. Two North Lawndale residents will be among those trying again to get dispensary licenses.

"I think it's a great start to addressing some of the harm caused by the war on drugs and those harmed by the original process. I think the 55 for $250 is a good start, but we are far from equity," said JR Fleming, community organizer.

"The goal of filing this application was to create generational wealth so I can bring back opportunities to the community that I live in," said Apriel Campbell, community organizer.

No one from the state was available for an interview today.
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