Illinois has officially started the process of issuing craft grow cannabis licenses that were held up in court until March, when a judge lifted an injunction to allow state officials to proceed with awarding the 60 licenses.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture awarded the first round of craft grow licenses in August 2021, and on May 18, the first three of these businesses received approval to begin construction on their facilities, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The three businesses that received the green light, Galaxy Labs in Richton Park, Mint Cannabis in Forest Park and Star Bud Illinois in Rockford, are all majority Latino- or Black-owned, the news outlet reported.
State law required the department to issue the 60 additional craft grow licenses by Dec. 21, 2021, but Sangamon County Judge Gail Noll and Cook County Judge Neil Cohen ordered that the licenses could not be awarded until litigation from unsuccessful applicants was settled, ultimately stalling the licensing process while the litigation moved through the legal system.
Last week, roughly two months after that injunction was lifted, state officials began notifying the first applicants eligible for those 60 licenses, according to the Chicago Tribune. They now have 10 days to complete the required paperwork and pay the license fee, the news outlet reported.
Meanwhile, 185 adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses are held up by separate court orders stemming from litigation challenging that application scoring process.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced in March that it would simplify the cannabis retail licensing process with a set of new rules.
The department’s proposed regulations for the next round of dispensary license applications open the process to out-of-state and non-social equity applicants, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The rules will likely be considered for approval by the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules this summer, according to the news outlet.