Support Social Equity in Illinois Now
Support Social Equity in Illinois Now
Why this petition matters
We are writing this letter on behalf of the Illinois Transporters, in recognition of the current license holders’ inability to operate at the hand of the State of Illinois. We understand how the pandemic has adversely affected the original HB1438 bill, allowing amendments that have directly affected our license holders that now need to be addressed.
Our existing license holders have made numerous attempts to get assistance and direction to become operational from the Governor’s office, Department of Agriculture, our State Legislatures, and Illinois State Police to no avail. Our requests have fallen on deaf ears, leaving us in a financial deficit, inoperable and has caused more irreparable harm to those impacted by the war on drugs.
The Governor’s office has acknowledged how successful and equitable it is for the various Social Equity Applicants (SEA) as Cannabis Licensee holders. To our knowledge, there has been no SEA operable with a Transporter License. This is very disappointing and disheartening, considering our time & financial investments to remain inoperable.
Current Multi-State Operators ( MSO’s) in Illinois were given temporary licenses to transport during the pandemic, which appears to be permanent without an expiration date, leaving no room for existing license holders to operate. To make matters worse the State has now released 2022 applications to allow even more operators without a clear direction on how to be operable. As of today, existing license holders have lost 75% of operation time and 100% of our investment. To further hurt existing licensee holders, we have recently received our license renewal notices and are expected to pay an additional $10,000 to renew.
I am the founder and owner of ACC of Illinois—the first company approved by IDFPR for cannabis education through the Responsible Vendor Training Program in Illinois and specializing in social equity applicants.
ACC Of Illinois has developed multiple educational platforms where people receive training to participate in the cannabis industry at any entry point. Through its incubator program that provides classes, workshops, tours, hands-on training, a behind-the-scenes look into owning and operating a fully functional dispensary, and much more, ACC of Illinois has created many owners and potential employees in the Illinois cannabis industry.
This letter is to also inquire about the state of Illinois’ implementation of Article 7-1, Section H of House Bill 1438 which states “…the General Assembly finds and declares that a social equity program should offer, among other things, financial assistance and license application benefits to individuals most directly and adversely impacted by the enforcement of cannabis-related laws.” Furthermore, Article 7-10, Sections A 1-8 lays out a plan to provide financial assistance to social equity applicants.
As of this dated email, these elements of the bill have not been met; neither has a plan of action been disseminated for fulfilling them. After a rigorous application process, and delayed license approvals, it would seem equitable to have the process for applying for low interest loans, and grants available to those awarded social equity licenses.
I was awarded a Transporter license. The fee for that license is $10,000. The application fee was $2,500. Licenses were supposed to be awarded July 1,2020. However, they were awarded July 15, 2021. Current Cannabis operators were given a transporter license without an expiration date due to covid. Social equity applicants like myself are struggling to stay afloat and would like the State of Illinois to take necessary measures to support our businesses.
We are requesting a meeting to discuss how the Governor’s office can assist Social Equity Applicants and existing Transporter license holders to become fully operable prior to the new license holder awardees in July of 2022. In addition, how the State can assist in the following areas:
* Waive the $10,000.00 Renewal fee for license transporters
* Turnover 75% transportation of Cannabis products to current Social Equity license Transporters
* A freeze on future new licenses beginning 2022
* Mandatory usage of Social Equity Applicants by all additional License holders
* Inclusion of Transporters to the State Software systems linking us from seed to sale (Biotrac)
* Low- interest Cannabis Loans for Social Equity Applicants
* The fulfillment of Article 7-10 as soon as possible.