The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) awarded 55 cannabis retail licenses to 53 firms on July 29 in the first of three licensing lotteries aimed at improving social equity in the state’s adult-use market.
“Illinois has taken the most comprehensive approach in the country to putting social justice at the heart of cannabis legalization, and today is an important day in expanding the diversity of the industry—on top of all the work we’ve already done to expunge convictions and investing tens of millions of cannabis revenue into the communities hit hardest by the war on drugs,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis, in a public statement. “We look forward to seeing businesses get off the ground and into this space.”
The conditional licensees, which are listed in the IDFPR’s announcement here, were chosen from 626 finalists who scored 85% or higher on their applications.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new scoring process and created 110 additional cannabis retail licenses after some industry stakeholders pushed back last September, when only 21 applicants were included in a lottery to award 75 dispensary licenses.
Fifty-five more permits will be doled out in an Aug. 5 lottery, the second half of the newly created 110 licenses, and the original 75 permits will be awarded in a third and final lottery on Aug. 19.
Once the IDFPR awards the conditional licenses, licensees have 180 days to choose a location for their dispensaries.