Illinois regulators awarded an additional 55 marijuana adult-use retail licenses in a lottery, aiming to create a more equitable industry and expand access to regulated cannabis.
Nearly 2,700 applicants were hoping to snag one of the conditional recreational retail licenses, which were reserved for entrepreneurs who meet the state’s social equity criteria, according to the Country Herald of Bourbonnais.
The criteria include being from a community that was disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition or someone having a record of low-level marijuana-related charges.
But it will likely be challenging for many of the awardees to raise the necessary funds to open their stores.
Of the 192 social equity licenses that were previously awarded, only 27 stores had opened as of July 11, according to Green Market Report.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation launched the latest application process in January.