Illinois Delays the Issuance of Recreational Cannabis Licenses Owing to COVID-19

Marijuana Moment

An announcement was made on Wednesday by an Illinois state agency that reportedly said that an executive order will be signed by Gov. J.B.Pritzker. The executive order will be regarding the suspension of a requirement that by May 1, the state issue up to 75 recreational cannabis licenses, as a response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has caused a global lockdown and economic shutdown.

The global pandemic has caused numerous concerns worldwide with its rapidly increasing and concerning number of infected cases and deaths. While the number of recovered cases that soon followed were significant and gave hope to people around the world, with researchers working towards a cure and vaccine, governments worldwide attempted to take safety measures and precautions to reduce the spread of the deadly virus, COVID-19. One of the measures was imposing a lockdown in numerous countries, and shutting down businesses.

Illinois had over 6000 known cases of COVID-19, including over 100 deaths, since the outbreak began In the state in late January. Understandably, many official processes were further delayed due to the slowed processing of applications, where Gov. J.B. Pritzker has also issued and later extended his stay at home order, through the end of April. This also included the issuance of recreational cannabis licenses in Illinois.

According to a statement by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the suspension of the requirement will continue for the duration of the state’s disaster proclamations or until an announcement of a new date is done by the agency. Furthermore, the executive order would be signed on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

The senior adviser for cannabis control, Toi Hutchinson, explained to Gov. J.B. Pritzker in a statement, that the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively caused delays in the process of application review.

Toi Hutchinson further added that the Pritzker administration remains committed to create a legal and safe cannabis industry that also reflects the diversity of the Illinois residents. Toi Hutchinson explained that they understand and recognize that countless entrepreneurs were looking forward to May 1 for recreational cannabis licenses.

According to Toi Hutchinson, this was the representation of the next step for Illinois’ adult-use cannabis industry. This executive order will, however, help with ensuring that they continue to build out this industry, in a deliberate and equity-centric manner, as explained by Toi Hutchinson.

The agency has reportedly said that public notice will be provided by the agency that will announce the new dates of when the licenses will be issued, and have also said that it will be “as soon as feasible”.

Furthermore, no comments were made by a spokesman for the IDFPR, who declined to do so, on Wednesday.
Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made an announcement last week. The announcement was regarding the landlords being blocked from any sort of eviction of tenants. The only cases where the eviction of tenants would be entertained would be if a direct health or safety risk is posed by the tenant to themselves or others, an “immediate or severe” risk to property, or a violation of building or health codes.

Furthermore, the state has taken several other measures in light of the global pandemic and the increasing number of infected COVID-19 cases. The measures have included the suspension of the 90-day limitation on temporary insurance producer licenses, which will further allow the insurance provider and public adjuster licenses to be completed online. This will also further extend the expiration dates for certain certifications along with the suspension of the garnishment of wages for consumer debts.

The executive order that is issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, will be available online here.

Jane Clarke: Masters in Biotechnology, the author loves to write about health and fitness in her spare time.