The Illinois cannabis industry has undergone significant changes in recent years regarding diversity and social equity, as evidenced by data provided by the Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer (CROO).
As first reported by Illinois News Joint, since the launch of adult-use marijuana sales in January 2020, the state's legal cannabis landscape has become notably more diverse.
Diversity In Ownership And Leadership
At the outset of adult-use marijuana sales in 2020, the industry was primarily characterized by businesses that were entirely majority white-owned, with limited representation from other demographic groups. However, data indicates substantial alterations:
- The proportion of Black-owned cannabis companies has increased from 0% to 27% between 2020 and 2023, with the most significant growth occurring during a CROO's 2021 study.
- Similarly, Latino/a and Hispanic-owned companies grew from 0% to 5%.
- The percentage of Asian-owned companies increased from 0% to 3%.
- Women-owned businesses, too, experienced significant growth, expanding from 1% to 16% of licensed cannabis companies.
Diversity In Leadership Positions
Beyond ownership, leadership positions within cannabis companies have also witnessed significant changes. In the <a …