Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued the state’s third set of conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses Aug. 12, bringing the total number of licenses issued to 182, according to a press release announcing the news.
All of the businesses awarded conditional licenses qualify as Social Equity Applicants as defined in Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which passed in 2019 to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.
A full list of the awardees can be found here.
Forty-one percent of the businesses awarded conditional licenses are majority Black-owned, 7% are majority white-owned and 4% are majority Latino-owned. Thirty-eight percent of awardees did not disclose the race of their owners, according to the press release.
“Illinois was the first state to include strong equity provisions in our legalizing statute, and the diversity of our new dispensary owners is further proof that prioritizing equity is not only possible, but makes our industry and our communities stronger," Pritzker said in a public statement. "Each new conditional license represents an opportunity not only for economic growth in Illinois, but to better the lives of countless individuals and communities harmed by the war on drugs."
After this latest licensing round, only three of the 185 total conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses are left to be awarded. IDFPR is awaiting additional or updated documents from the entities that have not yet received their conditional licenses, according to the press release.
Businesses that have secured conditional licenses have 180 days to choose a physical location for their storefronts and obtain a full Adult Use Dispensing Organization License. If an awardee is unable to find a location for their business within the 180-day period, he or she can request an extension of 180 days.
Illinois officials initially announced in May 2020 that 75 adult-use cannabis retail licenses would be available in Illinois. In September 2020, regulators revealed that 21 Social Equity Applicants were chosen from a pool of more than 1,660 applications to participate in a lottery to win the licenses.
In July 2021, Pritzker’s office announced that the state would award 185 total adult-use dispensary licenses—the 75 original licenses plus the 110 new ones—in a series of three lotteries last summer, which prompted additional litigation.
“With more than 98% of conditional licenses issued, Illinois is well on track to more than double the number of adult-use cannabis dispensaries in Illinois and create countless new opportunities for people across the state," IDFPR Secretary Mario Treto, Jr., said in a public statement. "These new licenses will help ensure Illinois continues to set the stage as the most robust and diverse cannabis industry of any state in the country."