CHICAGO, Il. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker (D-Il) signed adult-use cannabis regulation legislation on Dec. 4 and announced the first round of social equity applications opens on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Senate Bill 1557 also includes stronger provisions to prevent conflicts of interest among elected officials and provides more information to people whose records will be expunged. It takes effect on January 1, 2020
“Illinois’ challenges are unique because we forged our own path,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “When the calendar hits January 1, we’ll be celebrating only the beginning of this new era. A few years from now, we’ll be celebrating that we’ve actually done what no other state has: addressing not just the injustices of the past, but the equity of the future.”
“This bill continues to center medical cannabis patients by removing the onerous and discriminatory flags on driving records,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). “I’m pleased to say that we’ve taken this step as well as being the first state in the country to require patient access to be prioritized when shortages occur. Every state has seen shortages and challenges at roll out and I applaud the Pritzker administration for the steps and the continued focus on addressing concerns in this area.”
“With this new law, we are not just leaving behind harmful policies, but also committing to making amends for them,” said Sen. Heather A. Steans (D-Chicago). “The changes in this legislation came about because we were able to work quickly to address concerns about some of the specific ways the new law will be applied. As cannabis production and sale become legal industries, we need to stay in the mindset of studying, listening, and responding quickly to ensure that we have smart and just enforcement.”
“It is important for the state to make sure the process is thoroughly planned out, socially equitable and allows equal economic opportunities for minority communities so we can invest in our local neighborhoods and create good paying jobs starting on January 1st,” said Rep. Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “The legalization of cannabis took words and put them into action, and it gives us the ability to right past wrongs done primarily to minority communities by the War on Drugs, provide real criminal justice reform and lift up dis-invested communities by helping create new opportunities for local, minority-owned businesses.”
“I’m proud to be a part of the team that will cement equity in this industry in a way that no other state has seen,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control. “The people who have been working for years behind the scenes to make this happen – we did it because we had an unquestioned understanding of what this did to our communities. I’m going to work every single day to ensure that those who have been disproportionately impacted by drug policies have the opportunity to start businesses and thrive here in Illinois.”
“Illinois’ historic cannabis law puts social equity above all else, and the result will be a market unlike that in any state in the nation - one that rights the wrongs of the past by offering new opportunity to communities that have been torn apart,” said Esther Franco-Payne, executive director of Cabrini Green Legal Aid. “From ownership to jobs to expungement, disproportionally impacted communities will be revitalized when this law takes effect on January 1 and as the industry flourishes in the years to come.”