At Issue: Preckwinkle Doubts Minorities Will Get Access To Weed Business

Craig Dellimore
January 17, 2020 - 7:04 pm
Toni Preckwinkle

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she’s still doubtful minority entrepreneurs will be allowed into the recreational marijuana industry.

The Illinois legalization law gives established medical marijuana sellers first crack. All of them are white, but state officials say their fees will pay for programs to help minorities get licenses and financing.

Still, Preckwinkle doesn’t think the playing field will be anywhere near even.

"Democracy is making sausage," Preckwinkle said. "Sometimes the legislation emerging from that sausage-making process isn't ideal."

Preckwinkle acknowledges there are now equity programs funded by revenue from cannabis legalization. But, she said she is not convinced that African American and Latino entrepreneurs will be able to successfully compete with white dispensary owners who were given a head start under the new state law.

Preckwinkle is the guest on our At Issue program and you can hear more on what she has to say about the disparities in the cannabis industry and more at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday.