Irina Dashevsky, an Associate in Locke Lord’s Chicago office and member of the Firm’s Cannabis Industry Group, provided insight to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for an article on potential legal challenges to the social equity clauses of the Illinois bill legalizing recreational marijuana that was signed into law on June 26, 2019. Dashevsky noted the law is unlikely to be vulnerable to a disparate impact challenge to the license applications benefits designed to help those who have been historically disenfranchised by marijuana legislation.
Dashevsky noted a protected class of people would have to prove they suffered a disparate impact under the law when the first round of licenses is granted, which is improbable in this context.
“Because wealthy white men are not a protected class of people, that case is going to be very difficult … and it’s unlikely that all 75 of those [cannabis] licenses are going to be issued to only minority candidates,” she said.
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