Watch CBS News

Englewood Native Victoria Williams Is Proud Illinois Marijuana License Winner

AURORA, Ill. (CBS) -- This story is about a lottery winner – but it doesn't involve little white balls or scratch-off tickets.

We're talking green - weed. That is, the marijuana lottery. CBS 2's Charlie de Mar talked with an Englewood native turned pot entrepreneur who was among the winners.

De Mar: "Did you ever think this day would happen?"

Victoria Williams: "Oh man, no, no not at all."

Victoria Williams, founder ACC of Illinois, now has a license to sell recreational cannabis in Illinois. her company along with 55 others were approved by the state as social equity applicants.

"I feel like I am at a place that I can show Englewood, like you don't have to be a product of where you come from," she said.

Williams is proud to be from Englewood, and wants you to see a budding cannabis entrepreneur when you think of her South Side neighborhood – rather than images evoking crime.

"I think social equity is the reason why a lot of people are actually in the industry," Williams said.

Years ago, as talks of recreational weed becoming legal in Illinois heated up, Williams had a vision — and saw an opportunity.

"I actually took my rent money and said, I'm going to just bet it on myself," she said.

That gamble some six years ago allowed Williams to open Aurora-based ACC of Illinois, or Aurora Cannabis Consultants, where her team teaches people the ins and outs of the industry. The education is required by the state.

Just last week, Williams' luck hit for the first time - as she won a transportation license in a separate state cannabis lottery.

"That license allows us to transport from cultivation centers to retail stores," she said.

With two coveted cannabis industry licenses in her hand, Williams believes higher is the only direction.

"They need to see something positive; something good that came from the hood," Williams said.

Williams is still working out the plans of where she will open her dispensary, but everyone that was awarded a license announced Thursday will have 180 days to become operational.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.