Photo: Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks to reporters about her idea for a city-owned cultivation center during a news conference Monday at the Northtown Library, 6800 N. Western Ave. Fran Spielman/Sun-Times
The Mayor says a city-owned co-op would give minorities an opportunity to buy into the most lucrative part of the recreational weed business with a “modest cash investment” or “sweat equity.” By Fran SPielman and Tom Schuba.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she is “very serious” about the city growing its own recreational marijuana to give minorities a chance to learn the business and share the wealth — a plan the governor’s office later praised.

Lightfoot said up to $15 million generated by tax-increment financing could be used as seed money for the plan to open a “cooperative cultivation center” that residents of color could “buy into” — either with a “modest cash investment” or with “sweat equity.”

She said the idea is aimed at overcoming the biggest impediment to minority ownership: access to capital.