Illinois lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled adult-use legalization legislation on Monday, eyeing to begin issuing industry licenses by May 2020, WQAD reports.
Pritzker said the measure “starts right some historic wrongs” of cannabis prohibition against minorities and includes a $20 million low-interest loan program for social equity applicants.
The approach we’re taking starts righting some historic wrongs and opening up access to this new market with a $20 million loan program that will help qualified applicants from impacted communities.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) May 4, 2019
Pritzker included legalization in his campaign platform and plans to deposit 35 percent of the tax revenues in the state’s general fund, 25 percent to the Restoring Out Communities fund, and 10 percent to pay overdue bills. His office did not announce the proposed tax rates and fee schedules and it is not included in the bill text.
Pritzker did include $170 million from industry licensing fees in his 2020 budget, which begins July, 1.
State Sen. Heather Steans, the bill sponsor, said the plan balances the three goals for legalization – social justice, safety, and state revenue.
Having the governor’s support, though, doesn’t necessarily mean legalization is guaranteed. In March, New Jersey lawmakers tabled a legalization measure – which Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on and made “dozens of calls” in support of – due to a lack of legislative support.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo included legalization in his initial 2020 budget; but by March he had pulled it from his fiscal plans after fellow Democratic legislative leaders demanded it follow the traditional legislative path.
The Illinois measure has moved to the Assignments committee, which is chaired by bill co-sponsor Sen. Kimberly Lightford.
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