Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2018. (Flickr/Harry Carmichael)

In a hearing almost three weeks ago, Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry said, “Craft grower, infuser and transport licenses, it’s being kicked back to mid-August,” Illinois Cannabis Czar Toi Hutchinson, present to testify in the video conference call, did not correct him.

So, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was right on time yesterday when he announced an executive order establishing an unspecified future date to announce those licenses.

“It’s a formality and should come as no surprise to those who recognize the deadlines and such. Expected. Had to happen. Just like we expected, the governor has to extend the deadline on dispensaries,” said Scott Redman, a cannabis law attorney and member of a craft grow application group.

“What we don’t understand is how long is the delay. How many applications did they receive, and what the real timeline looks like? Are they looking at 2020, or 2021, or they going to prioritize social equity applicants. This makes the business harder. Because we have to secure the location. If you’re in the business, you knew there was going to be a delay. So we just built in that we may not know until October if we know we got the license or not,” said Anton Seals, Jr., another member of a craft grow license application group.

Yesterday was the legally mandated day to announce forty craft grower, forty infuser and an unlimited number of transport licenses, as set by Illinois’ 2019 recreational cannabis law.

The executive order also extends the period of time during which cultivators can legally transport cannabis without a transport license and also delayed the application deadline for the Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program until September 1.

Also, during last month’s Cook County hearing, Hutchinson said that the state’s 75 new dispensary licenses should begin to be rolled out in mid-July, with tie breaking licenses decided in September.

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Editor Mike is an itinerate reporter, recovering political consultant, and strategy game devotee.