Illinois Governor Appoints New Top Cannabis Regulator

Illinois has a new cannabis regulator after being appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday.

Pritzker announced Erin A. Johnson currently serves as the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commissioner. Johnson will replace Daniel Perry, who resigned earlier this year.

“Erin Johnson’s commitment to impartiality will extend to her role as Illinois’ cannabis regulator,” Pritzker, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. “From serving as Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to serving as Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer, Erin has been determined to succeed in this role while promoting cannabis equity throughout Illinois. I can’t think of a better Cannabis Regulatory Supervisor than Erin, and I wish her every success in this new role.”

According to the governor’s office, the Office of Cannabis Regulation and Oversight “is part of the Illinois Office of Finance and Occupational Regulation and is responsible for coordinating with numerous state agencies to direct the regulation and taxation of the Illinois cannabis industry.” .

“This work is done to ensure that Illinois’ social equity goals are met through erasure, community reinvestment, and diversification of the state’s cannabis industry,” said Pritzker. A press release from the office of said.

Johnson’s appointment must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate.

“I am extremely grateful to Governor Pritzker for entrusting me to lead the government’s cannabis control effort,” Johnson said in a press release Monday. , righting generations of wrongs, and continuing to build a cannabis industry driven by social equity.”

Courtesy of Crain’s Chicago Business

Pritzker, who won reelection earlier this month, signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois in the summer of 2019. In his three years since then, the governor has made a new adult marijuana program the centerpiece of his tenure.

Earlier this month, Pritzker announced that the state was allocating an $8.75 million loan to “all conditionally approved social equity loan applicants to provide immediate access to capital.”

“Equity has always been at the heart of the cannabis legalization process. [of] It imposed low-level cannabis fees and enacted a cannabis social equity loan program. But I know that if we want to create a truly equitable cannabis industry in Illinois, we must provide business owners with the resources they need to grow, both figuratively and literally. , we are launching this Direct Forgivable Loan Program to provide a much-needed jump-start for social equity applicants who have faced hurdles in pursuing capital funding. It helps our Social Equity licensees open the doors to their businesses, and it’s a big step forward for a thriving cannabis industry here in Illinois.”

The governor’s office explained that the program “will be the first of its kind, launching in the summer of 2021, with the aim of providing low-interest loans to Social Equity licensees through partnerships with lending institutions.” Did. The program “due to the complexity of navigating a new industry that remains illegal under federal law, and the agency’s fiduciary, regulatory responsibilities, and underwriting standards set independently of the program. There have been significant delays in receiving capital through the institution.”

“The new direct forgiveness loan program, which is fully funded by the state, will provide funding to all eligible program participants upon submission of the required documentation,” Pritzker’s office explained. “because [the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity] Additional documentation requirements for Direct Forgiveable Loans are minimal to allow for prompt disbursement of funds if you have already received key documentation from program participants. Forgivable loans have an 18-month grace period with no payments or interest to provide flexibility to businesses. “

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