CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council on Wednesday approved plans for a Jefferson Park marijuana dispensary to expand its operation into a neighboring storefront, despite efforts by a group of Black aldermen to delay over concerns that there are still no African American-owned pot businesses in Illinois.
Ald. Jason Ervin (29th), who chairs the City Council Black Caucus, asked Ald. James Gardiner (45th), whose ward includes the Columbia Care dispensary at 4758 N. Milwaukee Av., to delay final approval of the expansion on Wednesday.
When Gardiner turned him down, Ervin asked his colleagues to vote against the expansion until the Illinois General Assembly passes a new law aimed at giving Black and Brown entrepreneurs a better shot at getting into the legal marijuana industry.
The Illinois House already has approved House Bill 1443, which creates more than 100 new pot shop licenses, and gives people of color a fair shot at winning them during the lottery process.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported last month that as the state continued to rake in millions, not one minority-owned pot business had opened up shop yet because of state delays.