The Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition believes that if Illinois is going to address the injustices of prohibition, then everyone who has a criminal record should have their record cleared immediately.

We partner with legal aids organizations across the state to support record clearing, with greater emphasis in Chicagoland. You can also utilize online support through our partners.

The Coalition organizes events annually for National Expungement Week. You can learn more about our expungement organizing and advocacy on the Expungements page!

Know Your Rights

The Coalition recognizes the pressing need for communities to know their rights, and how they’ve been affected since legalization.
We partner with organizations like Legal Aid Chicago & Herbal Legal in hosting community events on Know Your Rights, and sharing important information.

We work with local creatives to develop multilingual Know Your Rights content online, so that all communities are able to access this crucial information. KYR content includes information about housing, immigration, employment, and more.

Please visit our Know Your Rights page for more information!

Community Benefits Agreement

As part of cannabis legalization, Illinois lawmakers allowed for the existing medical cannabis dispensary operators to open a “Plus-1” recreational dispensary. These existing operators, none of whom are led by individuals from impacted communities, are allowed to get a head start on expanding their businesses in Illinois, while new entrepreneurs are forced to wait.

To ensure that these companies, many of whom are multi-state operators, are doing their fair share to support communities impacted by prohibition, we started the #CannabisCBA campaign.

#CannabisCBA began in early 2020, when “Plus-1” dispensaries were seeking zoning approval from the Chicago City Council. The Coalition engaged each of the applicants for these licenses, requesting discussions about how to promote equity in their new stores.

The Coalition attended each and every community meeting that these proposed dispensaries hosted, to speak publicly about the need for a #CannabisCBA in Chicago. Throughout the months these meetings took place, we received lots of attention about our work, and gained many partners from all walks of life who wanted to support this work.
The Coalition continues to advocate for CBA’s to be signed by all the “Plus-1” dispensaries, to ensure that the economic success of this new store is tied to the economic development for communities impacted by prohibition.

Please visit our Community Benefits Agreement page for more details.

Legislative Education

When the Coalition was formed, we believed it was critical for community members to have access to information about important cannabis policies. Since the Coalition was first founded, we’ve continued to share out policy updates during our weekly meetings, collecting feedback on those different policies, and this education has been fundamental to the increase in community members engaging with their elected officials.

We believe that education can often be the key to empowerment, and this is a great example of that!

End Money Bond!

The Coalition is a member of the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice, and the Coalition to End Money Bond. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. We must end the arbitrary and discriminatory money bond program in Illinois, and ensure all community members are treated equally under law.