The Question of Equity & Regulated Recreational Cannabis Starting In Chicago 1.1.2020

It’s over the line but there’s plenty of politics to come. The Chicago Tribune documents what happened Wednesday in City Hall.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday beat back an attempt by black aldermen to stall the start of recreational marijuana sales in Chicago for six months, setting the stage for the city’s legal weed bonanza to start Jan. 1.

The mayor emerged with a big legislative win after hours of intense, often heated public debate on the City Council floor about the need for more African Americans among the ranks of owners in what promises to be a lucrative industry.

Black aldermen who tried unsuccessfully to push the start of recreational sales back to July nonetheless claimed victory because they said Gov. J.B. Pritzker pledged to allow two more medical marijuana dispensaries to open, in Chicago’s Chinatown and Hyde Park neighborhoods, with strong minority ownership numbers and the likelihood both will be able to transition over to more profitable recreational businesses.

“We got some things that were not in the original state bill,” said Ald. Michael Scott Jr., 24th. “The state has stepped up to the plate to make sure there are two ‘social equity’ medicinal licenses that would be awarded.

“I know we want things when we want them and how we want them, but in government we all know it’s negotiation,” Scott added. “And we’ll be working with, not only the governor, but the mayor’s office, (which) stepped up to make sure there will be more capital for folks of color and people who are ‘social equity’ applicants.”
Read full article https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-lori-lightfoot-marijuana-delay-vote-city-council-20191218-rjelqg6gc5fojgkpau3q32tio4-story.html

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