COAL is already hearing about issues of certain connected and 'squeaky-wheel' applicants being pre-selected to receive cannabis dispensary licenses with the first of the three scheduled lotteries, which was held on July 29th; in other words, it not being a truly open and fair process. And this process is in place to address the major issues everyone, blacks in particular, had with the original process to award dispensary licenses.
Now State Rep. LaShawn Ford and other legislators did an admirable job of passing legislation to address the initial problems toward ensuring that minority applicants had a fair chance of gaining entrance into the multi-billion dollar, all-white cannabis industry in Illinois.
However, legislation is not execution.
Governor Pritzker and Cannabis Czar Toi Hutchinson stated that there would be full transparency with the awarding of cannabis licenses. Consequently, COAL asks, who is observing the three corrective lotteries to assure applicants and the public of its fairness? Independent media? Oversight commissions? State legislators?
BTW, shouldn't the Black Caucus have some of its members or at least some of its staff in attendance at the lotteries to ensure that its legislative changes are acted upon in a manner that is above board and beyond challenge?
BTW, shouldn't the Governor and Hutchinson have made the actual lotteries public for all to observe, with the legendary Merri Dee pulling the names of applicants to award licenses.
Things that make you go hmmmm...