Illinois to Release Cannabis Store Apps in 6 Days - Are You Ready?

What can we expect in Illinois?

October 2019, Illinois will become the 11th state to begin the licensing process for recreational adult-use marijuana. So, what can we expect from Wave 1 of the licensing process? 

First, applications will be available October 1, 2019 and due no later than January 1, 2020. Those selected will be notified on May 1, 2020.

Each of the 55 existing medical dispensaries, will be given an opportunity to add recreational sales to their existing store. They may each also apply for a secondary adult-use-only site. In addition to these, 75 other retail licenses will be available in the first wave. Aside from retail, 40 Infuser, 40 Craft Grower, 30 Cultivating Center (at this time, only current medical cultivators may apply), and unlimited Transporter licenses.

What is required to qualify for a license? First, for those who wish to be at the top of the consideration list, you had better nail the Social Equity component. You can accomplish this by giving 51% ownership and control to a qualifying candidate or hire 10 full-time employees with 51% qualifying accordingly.  Additionally, plan to draft an exceptional Business Plan, Security Plan, Inventory Control Plan, Community Engagement Plan, Diversity plan, etc.  

Points are awarded in 10 categories, and rage from 5 to 65 points. The high point categories consist of Security and Recordkeeping, Business Plan, Financials, Operating and Floor Plan, Social Equity Applicant, and Experience. 

For those seeking a non-dispensing license, your application period will begin January 7, 2020 and conclude March 15, 2020, with the announcement of candidates taking place July 1, 2020. 

Cultivators will need plenty of experience, a full cultivation plan, recycling plan, commitment to a technology standard for resource efficiency, a resource plan, etc. Infusers will need much of the same information.

The state taxes have quite a range. There is a 7% cultivation tax (with some caveats) and a 10-20% retail tax. On top of these, there is a 6.25% state tax.

 Wave 2 of the licensing process will begin December 21, 2021 and 110 licenses for new dispensaries will be awarded.