Illinois program provides resources for minorities to get recreational marijuana licenses

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois is trying to diversify the state’s new cannabis industry.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is giving a helping hand to those who qualify for the state’s social equity program in the form of a $500,000 investment.

Funds will go toward mentoring minorities who wish to get in to recreational marijuana sales, allowing for Social Equity applicants to apply for low interest loans to cover business start-up costs.

Social Equity applications for cannabis licenses are due by March 16th.

To qualify, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Has at least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals who:
    • Have lived in a Disproportionately Impacted Area in 5 of the past 10 years (see map below for Disproportionately Impacted Areas).
    • Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.
    • Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams
       
  • Has more than 10 full-time employees, and more than half of those employees:
    • Currently reside in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (see map below for Disproportionately Impacted Areas).
    • Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.
    • Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

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