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Advocates call for more equity in Illinois Recreational Cannabis Industry

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CHICAGO - Advocates and state lawmakers are pushing for more fairness in the cannabis industry.

They gathered on Tuesday in the West Loop to call on state leaders and regulators to do more to help business owners to get what's called "social equity cannabis licenses."

"The cannabis industry for social equity was to hire Black and brown people in communities that were hardest hit and we have not realized that yet," said State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-8th).

The activists said Gov. JB Pritzker and state lawmakers need to do more to cut red tape and lower barriers to entry. They want to see more loans and grants distributed and more leniency for people who need more time to open their businesses so these license holders can compete with big cannabis corporations.

They also want producers to be able to grow more cannabis.

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