Illinois Announces Upcoming Cannabis Dispensary License Lotteries

A total of three lotteries for adult-use cannabis dispensaries will be conducted

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced late last week that the state will conduct three lotteries later this summer to award licenses for recreational marijuana retailers. The lotteries, scheduled to be held in July and August, will determine who receives licenses for 185 adult-use cannabis dispensaries across the state. 

Pritzker’s office noted that in addition to the dispensary licenses, more than 200 people had qualified to receive licenses to operate as craft growers, transporters and infusers in the state’s lucrative, adult-use marijuana market. Of those who qualified for the licenses, 67 percent identify as non-white and 100 percent are eligible social equity applicants.

“Almost all states that have legalized cannabis have done so in a way that produced a multi-billion-dollar industry dominated by a handful of corporations and individuals that lack diversity. But Illinois is attempting to produce a cannabis industry that actually looks like Illinois,” Toi Hutchinson, Pritzker’s senior advisor on cannabis control, said in a statement from the governor’s office. “What we’re attempting to accomplish is hard to do and takes time to accomplish, but we have an obligation to ensure that it gets as strong a start as possible.” 

“These upcoming dispensary license lotteries are a result of the administration’s continued commitment to working hand in hand with the General Assembly, community groups and other stakeholders to put equity first as we take these initial steps in building an inclusive industry,” Hutchinson added.

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