53 winners of pot shop license lottery announced
Following a year of acrimony and delays, state officials have announced that 53 firms entered in the state's first pot shop lottery had earned the rights to 55 lucrative licenses.
The winners, selected from 626 finalists, include some firms already linked to the state's pot industry and what appears to be a host of new players. Two more lottery drawings for 130 additional licenses will be held next month, giving other firms in the pool of over 900 total applicants more opportunities to score.
Former state Sen. Rickey Hendon spent much of the past year advocating for himself and other social equity applicants, a designation created to bolster minority ownership in the white-dominated industry. All the fighting paid off, as his company, Westside Visionaries LLC, won a sought-after license in a region that covers Chicago.
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