Illinois – Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Delayed Until August

The Motley Fool

Cannabis entrepreneurs entering the industry will now have to wait until August or more, to know if they are awarded one of the 75 dispensary licenses from Illinois. Primarily, the awarding date for the licenses was May 1. However, Gove. JK Pritzker issued an executive order in the last week of April. This delayed the decision for an indefinite time period.

While the pandemic has brought upon its own struggles, the delay of the cannabis licenses is one of them. The cannabis industry is currently booming with sales due to the addition to the essential businesses list. However, booming cannabis entrepreneurs are hoping to enter this journey and are dependant on the issuance of cannabis licenses.

The order emphasized the COVID-19 struggles in dealing with the processing of applications. Initially, the government planned on issuing all 75 licenses at the same time. However, now it seems that the state will award some licenses next month, while possibly issuing others in August.

Former state Sen.Toi Hutchinsons supervises the state cannabis program. Hutchinson acknowledged the delay and explained that it is essential to supervise the issuance of the licenses to avoid any discrepancies and lawsuits that losing applicants might issue. Hutchinson also recognized the effect of the delay on cannabis entrepreneurs. Therefore, Hutchinson also worries about the struggles of candidates who are depending on this decision for future actions.

Eligibility for Illinois cannabis licenses

The Block Club reported that Illinois appointed accounting firm K.P.M.G. in February. They directed the firm to check over 4,000 applications, with over 700 applicants groups. Moreover, the firm was hired over a month after the submissions of applications to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The state allows applicants to apply for up to 10 licenses. Moreover, out of the total 250 points, 50 will be issued to applicants who are qualified for social equity status. According to Hutchinson, the supervising company of the grading system had forbidden any traveling for employees. Consequently, things slowed down on the dispensary licenses.


During the application reviewing process, new issues came into light. The state had implemented a few essential rules in this regard. The regulated laws aimed for the necessary actions and decisions if any 2 or more applicants have the same score. However, expiry was on June 6.

Defenders of the Illinois cannabis program attempted to rectify the issue. They tried to include permanent tie-breaking rules in other legislative improvements to the state cannabis law. This was in the legislative gathering in May. The Senate passed the bill. However, the House did not have votes to give to the bill.

On June 5, Hutchinsons registered firm tie-breaker laws consulting with a legislative oversight committee. Beginning June 15, this will authorize a 45-day civil comment period. There will also be an additional 45-day period for the state directors to acknowledge the queries.

Hutchinson reportedly stated that the state will have likely awarded the scores to applicants to issue licenses tp the highest-scoring applicants in mid-July.

Charity Greene, a spokeswoman for Pritzker also commented on the delay and said that they might not award all 75 licenses at the same time. Hutchinson explained that owning a dispensary isn’t the primary concern in the industry. Craft cannabis farms, infusing companies, and transportation companies are all essential parts of the industry and provide lesser struggles in terms of cost.

However, the reports expect the issuance of licenses on July 1, to be paused. Despite the delay of the licenses, the operations of the dispensaries have continued to remain unaffected. Reports recorded sales in Illinois in May, to be over $44 million dollars. After the recreational cannabis legalization on January 1, these sales are currently the highest monthly recorded sales.

Saher Asad Mir: