Illinois Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS ILLINOIS' CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
For the first time in the nation's cannabis history, legalization was achieved through a state legislature making Illinois the 11th state to approve adult-use cannabis. On January 1, 2020 recreational sales began with the first round of licensing going to active operators in the state's existing medical cannabis industry. Within the first week, recreational cannabis sales reached nearly $11 million among only a few dozen dispensaries and despite a statewide shortage of product. The market has continued to thrive and had a lucrative month in April 2020 where the industry saw $37.3 million in sales.
In early 2020, the state opened the opportunity to new licenses for dispensaries, craft growers, processors, and transportation cannabis businesses, and is currently in the process of reviewing submitted applications. It was expected that dispensary licenses would be awarded on May 1, 2020, but with the COVID pandemic, the license awardance has been postponed until the governor lifts his disaster proclamations.
WHAT ARE ILLINOIS' CANNABIS LAWS?
The ability to purchase medical cannabis was signed into law in August of 2013 under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program which allowed doctors to recommend the use of medical marijuana to patients once they registered with the state of Illinois as a medical patient. The act allows patients to possess two and one-half ounces or 70 grams of cannabis.
In May 2019, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act was passed, legalizing recreational cannabis beginning on January 1, 2020. The approach for legalization presented by the state of Illinois is celebrated for the remarkable measures implemented to assist with rebuilding the lives of those affected by the state’s earlier war on cannabis. Illinois residents who were charged with a marijuana offense received priority in the first round of competitive licensure by receiving additional points during the application scoring process and access to financial resources to start a cannabis business. adult-use cannabis users are prohibited from growing plants at home. Medical cannabis patients are allowed to grow five plants within the privacy of their homes.
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation: Oversees Dispensaries
Department of Agriculture: Oversees Craft Growers, Processors and Transportation
Possession limit for Illinois residents:
30 grams of cannabis flower
5 grams of cannabis concentrate
500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product
People may possess more than 30 grams of cannabis if it is grown secured in their residence under certain conditions
Possession limit for non-Illinois residents:
15 grams of cannabis flower
2.5 grams of cannabis
250 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product
The possession limits are to be considered cumulative.
WHAT IS ILLINOIS' CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
At this time, the competitive licensing window has closed for all license types. However, in 2021 opportunities for round 2 of applications for all licenses will be available. Point7 worked eagerly through the first round with multiple clients to meet the specific needs of the applications which were social equity and operational plan focused. We have a clear picture of the wants and needs the State of Illinois has for a cannabis business license holder and are prepared to guide you through the application process. With less than a year to prepare, contact Point7 now to discuss the actions that could be taken to ensure readiness when the second round of applications opens.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN ILLINOIS?
Illinois’ road to full cannabis legalization began in August 2013 when Governor Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical cannabis. Medical professionals can prescribe patients to apply for a medical ID card that allows the purchase and use of medical cannabis. In January 2020, the program has grown to include nearly 100,00 qualifying patients, many of whom are participants in the state’s opioid alternative program.
In May 2019, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act was passed by the Illinois General Assembly, legalizing recreational cannabis. Unlike the previous ten states to legalize recreational cannabis, Illinois succeeded in legalization through a state legislature rather than a ballot initiative presented to voters. On January 1, 2020, the first day recreational cannabis could be purchased, $3.2 million was generated in sales. The state has been applauded for including positive measures to incorporate a social equity component that allowed those affected by a previous cannabis prohibition a greater than equal opportunity at being awarded a cannabis business license in the first round of applications.
DOES ILLINOIS HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE ILLINOIS CANNABIS MARKET?
With the first round of applications closed, those interested in pursuing the Illinois cannabis market have ample time to prepare a strong business and operational plan prior to the second round opening in early 2021. From business plan development, financial projections and pro formas, building design and selection, design and marketing, and templated application responses, Point7 has the resources and knowledge needed to ensure an applicant is prepared and stands out to application reviewers. Email today to schedule a call with a dedicated Point7 team member.