On July 15, 2021, the Illinois Department of Agriculture sent out “Notice of Awards” to top scoring craft grower, infuser, and transporter applicants notifying them that they are eligible to receive a license pursuant to the scoring and selection process of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“CRTA”) and its corresponding administrative rules.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation HB1433, which is supposed to create 115 new cannabis dispensary licenses. The new legislation also authorizes a lottery for the 75 stalled dispensary licenses.
The Illinois State Lottery will manage the three lotteries throughout July and August.
July 29th: the lottery for qualifying applicants who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points will be held for the 55 licenses in that category.
August 5th: the lottery for social equity justice-involved applicants who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points and are located in a disproportionately impacted area or have an eligible conviction will be held for the 55 available licenses in that category.
August 19th: the final lottery will be held for top-scoring, tied applicants for the original 75 licenses outlined in the CRTA.
The results of each lottery will be available by 5 p.m. CT on the day of the draws.
Once these top-scoring applicants pay the required, applicable license fee, and submit a certification form, they will receive their license pursuant to the CRTA.
Pursuant to the CRTA, top-scoring applicants cannot receive their license until they pay the applicable licensing fee.
Applicants for craft grower and infuser licenses have 10 business days to submit their license fees and certification form, unless they require an extension.
Applicants for transporter licenses have until February 14, 2022 to submit their license fees and certification forms.
A prorated fee schedule for transporter licenses can be found here. Once licenses have been issued, the Department will publish a list of the names of all licensees.
Social Equity Applicants are eligible for ongoing, free technical assistance through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:
Craft grow and infuser applicants will have ten business days to confirm their interest and submit the required fee and documents.
Transporter applicants will have until February 2022 to confirm their interest.
These applicants will become public upon confirmation of their submission of the required documentation and fees.
Any applicant with questions concerning these Notice of Awards should contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Division of Cannabis Regulation, Bureau of Licensing and Administration by emailing email@example.com.
Cannabis Community College Vocational Pilot Program
As part of the bill, eligible higher education institutions can now offer and develop curriculum for training a new generation of cannabis industry professionals and leaders under the Cannabis Community College Vocational Pilot Program.
The administration announced seven inaugural recipients of a Cannabis Community College Vocational Pilot Program license: Kishwaukee College, Oakton College, Olive-Harvey College, Shawnee Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College, and Wilbur Wright College.
HB 1443 removed restrictions and grants the department the ability to grant licenses to as many community colleges that are eligible. Until now, IDOA was restricted to issuing licenses for the program to a maximum of eight community colleges statewide.
Issuance of Additional Licenses
Pursuant to the CRTA, the Department will also be issuing up to 60 additional craft grower and up to 60 additional infuser licenses before December 21, 2021.
Applicants who previously submitted applications for craft grower and infuser licenses that did not receive a Notice of Award may still be eligible to receive one of these additional licenses and should continue to monitor their emails and this website for additional updates. At this time, the Department is not accepting new applications for those additional licenses.
Before the Department can issue the additional licenses, the Department must send out additional Deficiency Notices to Applicants who did not previously receive the 4th round of Deficiency Notices.
The 4th round of Deficiency Notices will be sent to all Applicants with missing information in exhibits that were not assigned a point value in CRTA and its corresponding administrative rules.
For craft grower and infuser applications, these include Exhibits N (Property Ownership), O (Notice of Proper Zoning), P (Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure), Q (Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statements), and S (Fingerprint Consent Forms).
There are 21 licensed early approval adult use cultivation centers. The Department is authorized under the Act, in the first round of licenses to be issued, to license up to 40 cannabis craft growers, 40 cannabis infusers, unlimited transporters, and 8 community college programs.
The Act also gave the Department the authority to adopt administrative rules through the use of emergency rulemaking. The emergency rules can be found in the Illinois Register. Those rules took effect on January 1, 2020 and remained in effect for 180 days. The final rules became effective upon filing on June 3, 2020, and can be found here.
Any laboratory seeking to test and analyze adult use cannabis must be approved by the Department of Agriculture, per 410 ILCS 705/50-5(b)(1). The Department will issue a license to a laboratory that meets the requirements outlined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Another aspect of the HB 1443 includes expanding access for medical cannabis users by removing restrictions on where medical cardholders can buy medicine.
HB 1443 is effective immediately.
For more Illinois cannabis industry news, click here.