In May 2023, the Illinois Senate created an omnibus with several cannabis-related items that ultimately failed. One of those items was the addition to licensed craft grower’s canopy space, which included increasing the grow space to 14,000 square feet (from 5,000). Today, Illinois proposed a new rule that would allow craft grower to “request an increase of 3,000, 6,000 or 9,000 square feet of canopy space.”
The Illinois General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) released this new proposed rulemaking amendment along with other criteria and rule changes. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA ) “will approve a craft grower’s request for an increase of canopy space based on the following criteria:
- The market need for additional cannabis production, as indicated by any of the following:
- Illinois adult use cannabis monthly sales figures
- Wholesale cannabis sales figures
- Inventory tracking data
- Whether the craft grower has sold 50% or more of its packaged product consistently over the previous two fiscal quarters
- Availability of product manufactured within a 3 month window of sale
- Cost and availability of products used by licensed cannabis infusers
- Any other data the IDOA may rely on to evaluate market need
- The craft grower’s ability to meet all requirements and commitments contained in its original license application, including any additional modifications;
- The craft grower’s ability to cultivate additional cannabis at the square footage requested
- The craft grower’s history of compliance or noncompliance with the Act or rules and with any other relevant law or rules applicable to the growing or selling of cannabis;
- Deficiencies alone would not be considered as a basis for denying a licensee’s request for additional canopy space
- A licensee shall not be assessed more than three fines in a calendar year and be granted a request for expansion in that year
- Any additional information presented by the craft grower supporting the application for canopy space expansion
IDOA may decrease a craft grower’s canopy space by 3,000 square feet if the craft grower has sold less than 50% of its packaged product consistently over the previous two fiscal quarters preceding the notice to decrease canopy space. IDOA shall notify a craft grower at least 120 days prior to decreasing its canopy space. In addition, IDOA shall not decrease a craft grower’s canopy space more than once in any twelve-month period or reduce a craft grower’s canopy space below 5,000 square feet.
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