Illinois considering legislation to consolidate cannabis oversight

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The state will streamline its cannabis industry if a new bill can find approval

In an effort to simplify the process of state regulation of the cannabis market, some in Illinois are looking to create a commission to oversee everything related to it. According to the initiative’s supporters, a single commission is much more stable in the long run, which is why it is used for liquor and gambling regulation.

At the moment, in Illinois, entrepreneurs in both the medicinal and recreational industries have several state agencies they have to go to for licensing and regulation. It is no secret to anyone that application fees can be costly, and meeting the requirements to be a social equity applicant can generate many more burdens.

In order to reduce the points of contact, State Representative Marcus Evans is looking to create a cannabis commission, similar to the state commissions currently in charge of gaming or liquor. “It’s about centralizing things and time management,” Evans told The Center Square. “Business folks don’t need the confusion. Even some of us are confused because I don’t know which agency is which. I’ve got to try to answer folks and bring out a flowchart. Why make government difficult when it can be easy.”

According to Pam Althoff, executive director of the Illinois Cannabis Business Association, things need to be simplified if the state really wants to achieve policy goals for the industry. Althoff says there are currently too many agencies with small responsibilities that confuse stakeholders about who they are supposed to talk to for a specific process. The idea is to centralize all of this so that the regulation of the cannabis market in The Prairie State is much simpler and more effective.