Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) says governor’s office is backtracking on promise to earmark two medical marijuana dispensary licenses for black or Hispanic operators.
The chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus threatened Thursday to try again to delay recreational marijuana sales in Chicago for six months after accusing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office of backing off from a commitment made to African American aldermen demanding a piece of the pie.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said “seven or eight” black and Hispanic aldermen voted against a six-month delay based on the promise they were told the governor’s office made to earmark two medical marijuana dispensary licenses — in Hyde Park and Chinatown — for social equity applicants.
That would have given black and Hispanic people shut out in round one of the recreational marijuana sweepstakes a chance to get in on the action; medical dispensaries could be allowed to pivot to recreation marijuana sales and, potentially, open a second location.
Hours after a divided City Council voted to let recreational marijuana sales begin as scheduled Jan. 1, the governor’s office disavowed any such guarantees about the two new licenses.
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said there would be a “regulated process to determine the ultimate owners” from a pool that includes “social equity applicants.” [Read more at Chicago Sun Times]