Loan opportunity for future marijuana business owners

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Thursday, local organizations hosted a presentation at the Carver Community Center. This workshop provided neighbors with some of the tools and information they need to create a cannabis business.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is giving low-interest loans to those who have been negatively affected by marijuana laws. This will help them with the expenses of starting and operating a recreational marijuana business establishment.

Loans will be available to Social Equity Applicants or companies applying for a license to operate a cannabis business that meet the following criteria:

Has at least 51% ownership and control by one or more Illinois residents who:

o Have lived in a Disproportionately Impacted Area in 5 of the past 10 years. Disproportionately Impacted Areas are census tracts that have high rates of arrest and incarceration related to cannabis offenses, among other qualifications including high poverty and unemployment. A map of these areas is available here.

o Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

o Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

Has more than 10 full-time employees, and more than half of those employees:

o Currently reside in a Disproportionately ImpactedArea.

o Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

o Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

Other criteria that will be considered for qualification for a loan include business plans, financial details, operational and compliance information.

Christell Frausto with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said this is an opportunity for neighbors to turn their lives around and give them a chance to open a dispensary.

“We [want to] just encourage and empower business owners, the people wanting to go into business to choose Peoria,” Frausto said. “Peoria is a hub for innovation and information.”

Frausto said they are anticipating that loan amounts could be as high as 250,000 dollars per person.

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