The State of Illinois has released a map where the sale of recreational marijuana would get preference under the law’s social equity provision. The map shows areas in the state that show areas that have been disporportionately impacted by past marijuana enforcement in the state. Two million people live in these areas that had higher-than-typical rates of arrests, conviction and incarceration for marijuana, along with poverty.
The state will begin accepting a new round of applications for marijuana cultivators, dispensaries and more. Applicants with majority ownership of the proposed enterprise who have lived in one of these areas for five of the past 10 years or have been arrested for certain marijuana offenses will get additional points when the applications are scored. Jacksonville, Roodhouse, Jerseyville, and Carlinville are the four highest scoring areas in West Central Illinois.
Social equity applicants, as they are being labeled would be able to receive extra support services from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity:
- Technical assistance and support on everything from putting together a business plan to applying for a license
- Additional points on their applications for a license to operate a cannabis business
- Opportunity to apply for a low-interest loan from the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
The interactive map can be found here.