Back in 2019, Governor Pritzker of Illinois signed a bill allowing for the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older. The Illinois lawmakers were applauded for being the first state to legalize marijuana via legislation, rather than putting the issue to a vote by the state’s residents.
The law also allowed for the expungement of some criminal sentences that were enacted strictly due to marijuana possession. The hope was that this might help minorities in Illinois communities get a fresh start since they tend to be targeted more often than not in the war on drugs.
The outlook on legalized marijuana, two years later
When marijuana was legalized in Illinois, the state planned to save some licenses for social equity applicants, including minorities. However, most of those applicants are still waiting for their licenses. Instead, the bulk of the marijuana businesses are either corporate-run or medical marijuana dispensaries that may now sell to the general public.
In particular, some of the country’s largest suppliers of marijuana products have turned their attention toward the Illinois market. Originally, the focus was on Colorado and California. Now, industry giants are setting up shop in Chicago. This means that the “little guys” waiting for their licenses are being squeezed out of the market. That may also be keeping dispensary prices artificially higher than they might be otherwise.
Consumers are tired of waiting
People grow weary of waiting for the small shops to pop up in their communities, causing many to continue to buy marijuana from drug dealers. In order to legally use marijuana, you must buy it from a licensed facility. If you purchase marijuana from a street dealer, you could face criminal drug charges. If you find yourself in this situation, contact an experienced legal advisor as soon as possible.