Attracting emerging industries

If Illinois legalizes the commercialization of recreational cannabis, I want to ensure the communities that need the most economic help will have opportunity to benefit. This will be an emerging industry that will create tens of thousands of jobs in Illinois, and bring in between 350-700 million dollars in annual tax revenues.

What I propose be considered in IL is a similar legislation that was passed by the city of Oakland, CA. They adopted an “Equity Permit Program” to ensure at least half of licenses go to Equity Program qualified individuals.

In our state, that could mean individuals would qualify if they lived in a census tract that had a disproportionate amount of cannabis arrests, or in neighborhoods that experienced a significant loss of industry & jobs.

Without these special considerations, this highly regulated industry will certainly be dominated by the wealthy and politically connected. And we will miss an opportunity to provide an economic footing for communities that have been left behind in our district, on the south and west sides of Chicago, and downstate.

Here are a few exciting job opportunities in the medical/recreational cannabis industry:

Brick and mortar dispensary
Delivery-only dispensary
Indoor cultivator
Outdoor cultivator
Testing laboratory

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