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Cannabis advocates ask for changes in state law to provide protections for patients, business owners and motorists

Advocates called Tuesday for changes to help medical cannabis patients and to broaden opportunities in the marijuana industry.

The Alliance for Cannabis Equity, a collective of social justice advocates, medical caretakers and trade associations, is seeking the changes to be combined in state law under an omnibus bill.

For medical patients, the group called for making curbside or drive-thru pickup permanent and for buying cannabis tax-free at any dispensary. For motorists, police would be prohibited from using cannabis as probable cause to make a stop. People with prior criminal convictions would be allowed to work in the industry; craft growers would get more space to cultivate their crop; and a single agency would replace the myriad agencies that regulate the industry.

“No substantive social equity law has been passed for two years, and action is desperately needed to address many issues,” said Douglas Kelly of Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition.

In the rush to make money off the industry, medical patients and Black and brown business owners have been left out, advocates said. Though a few Black-owned dispensaries or growers have opened, the owners of cannabis companies in Illinois remain almost exclusively wealthy and white. [Read More @ The Chicago Tribune]

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