Cannabis may be the prescription our state needs
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has hit the pause button on issuing new adult use recreational marijuana dispensary licenses, citing the coronavirus pandemic. While the state initially planned to award up to 75 new dispensary licenses on May 1, the department announced that none will be granted while the governor’s stay at home orders are in place.
As one of more than 700 applicants vying to open dispensaries in Illinois, including a location in Metropolis, I was hopeful we would have answers sooner rather than later. Deemed an essential industry that can operate during the stay at home orders, the cannabis industry can provide jobs and opportunities that have otherwise dried up in many communities. Indeed, cannabis sales topped $37 million￼ in April, generating much-needed tax revenue for towns now facing budget shortfalls due to a historic drop in tax receipts.
It is clear cannabis will help communities large and small recover from the pandemic crisis. While we will have to wait to see which applicant, if any, gets a license to open a dispensary in Metropolis , it is my hope that the state will see the wisdom in moving forward with these licensing process in the near future. Illinois communities like Metropolis need an economic shot in the arm. Cannabis may be the prescription our state needs.
Dr. R. Lawrence Hatchett
Principal Owner of Cannabliss Depot