Concerns grow over social equity on cannabis licensesPosted by On

Toi Hutchinson, lead cannabis advisor to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, answers questions about the state’s cannabis licensing process Wednesday, Sept. 9 at a news conference in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of

SPRINGFIELD — Some lawmakers and stakeholders are asking Gov. J.B. Pritzker to hold off awarding 75 marijuana dispensary licenses amid concerns that just 21 applicants qualified for the first round of licenses.

Applicants for licenses were graded on a 250-point scale established by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to determine which firm receives a license. The applications were scored by an unaffiliated third-party, KPMG, a private auditing firm. KPMG was paid $4.2 million by IDFPR to grade the applications, a process that was delayed by five month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Because each of those 21 applicants achieved a perfect score, the 75 licenses are to be distributed via lottery. In an email sent Tuesday, Sept. 8, a…

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