Illinois Issues Second Round of Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary Licenses
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Illinois Issues Second Round of Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary Licenses

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation awarded 28 additional retail licenses July 29.

August 1, 2022

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued the state’s second round of conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses July 29, adding to the first batch of licenses that were awarded the week before.

Officials granted the most recent set of licenses to 28 applicants that were selected in a series of three lotteries held last summer to issue 185 total adult-use retail licenses, according to a press release from Pritzker’s office.

Friday’s awardees bring the total number of conditional licenses issued to 177.

The full list of awardees can be found here.

Of the applicants selected for licenses, 41% are majority Black-owned, 7% are majority white-owned and 4% are majority Latino-owned, according to the release. Thirty-eight percent of awardees did not disclose the race of their owners, but all the businesses issued conditional licenses qualify as Social Equity Applicants under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act that legalized adult-use cannabis in Illinois.

“These 177 licenses represent 177 individual but powerful steps toward addressing the decades of injustice preceding cannabis legalization, and I'm proud to help foster an industry that looks much more like the state it serves than its counterparts across the nation,” Pritzker said in a public statement. “We can’t turn back time, but we can act with an intentional eye for accountability and diversity, and that's exactly how we in Illinois will continue to move forward.”

Officials initially announced in May 2020 that 75 adult-use cannabis retail licenses would be available in Illinois. In September 2020, they revealed that 21 Social Equity Applicants were chosen from a pool of more than 1,660 applications to participate in a lottery to secure a license.

Litigation quickly followed, and lawmakers ultimately stepped in to create 110 additional cannabis retail licenses.

Last year, in July 2021, Pritzker’s office announced that that state would award 185 total adult-use dispensary licenses—the 75 original licenses and the 110 new ones—in a series of three lotteries last summer.

More litigation ensued, and the retail licenses were left in limbo until a judge ended the court order in May, allowing the state to issue the licenses.

Now that the second batch of dispensary licenses has been awarded, only eight of the 185 total retail licenses remain; IDFPR officials are waiting for additional or updated documents from the entities that have not yet received their conditional licenses, according to the press release.

Businesses with conditional licenses in hand have 180 days to select a physical location for their storefronts and obtain a full Adult Use Dispensing Organization License, at which point they can open for business.

“Every license released is another opportunity to create jobs and build wealth in the communities most harmed by the war on drugs, and we are excited for these next steps to accomplish that,” IDFPR Secretary Mario Treto, Jr., said in a public statement. “Our team recognizes the opportunity implicit in each license, and I'm very proud of their commitment to working with awardees to issue licenses as swiftly as possible."