SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — On January 1st, 2020, Illinois will become the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana.
On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to make it easier for minority groups to get involved in the business side of legal marijuana.
Pritzker describes the new law as “equity-centric” and says it’s the first of it’s kind, saying it will give a leg up to people of color and others “disproportionally impacted” by the war on drugs.
“No other state has developed a comprehensive plan to promote social equity and because of that, we’ve seen a result in those states we don’t want here in Illinois, an industry that doesn’t reflect diversity or equity.”
The State’s goal is to award 75 additional licenses in the upcoming months to businesses owned by African Americans and other minority owners.
Chicago’s Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin observed that the first waves of pot shop licenses all went to white owners, according to WTTW.
Those who benefit from the equity law will be able to get business loans funded by marijuana sales revenue.