Illinois announces dispensary license lotteries, distributes craft grow, infuser, transport licenses

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to the press about the cannabis dispensary process on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Getting an early start on the day, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation this morning, HB1433, creating 115 new cannabis dispensary licenses and authorizing a lottery for 75 dispensary licenses that have been stuck in legal limbo since last September. In addition, the Illinois Department of Agriculture sent notifications to applicants who are eligible to receive one of 213 total licenses: 40 craft grow, 32 infuser, and 141 transporter.

“Craft grow and infuser applicants have 10 business days to respond to the notification confirming their interest in receiving a license and to submit the required fee and documents. Transporter applicants have until February 2022 to confirm their interest in receiving a license,” according to a release from Gov. Pritzker’s office. “Applicants will become public upon confirmation of their submission of the required documentation and fees,” says the release.

[Read the press release]

Of those eligible to receive licenses for craft grow, infuser and transportation, says the release, 67 percent identify as non-white and 100 percent are qualified social equity applicants.

Gov. Pritzker’s signature enacts HB1433 immediately. As such, Pritzker’s office announced the lotteries will kick off later this month as follows:

July 29 – The Qualifying Applicant Lottery, for 55 adult-use licenses, for applicants to the January 2020 process who scored at least 85%, 213 of 250 applicant points

August 5 – The Social Equity Justice Involved Lottery, for 55 adult-use licenses, for applicants to the January 2020 process who scored at least 85%, 213 of 250 applicant points and does not include applicants who obtained social justice status by employing 10 people who were from disproportionately impacted areas or had been arrested because of a cannabis-related crime.

August 19 – The Tied Applicant Lottery, for the twenty-one applicants to the January 2020 dispensary application process who scored perfect scores, for a drawing for 75 dispensary adult-use licenses.

Conducted by the Illinois State Lottery, draws will be automated via a computer program. The results of each lottery will be available by 5:00 p.m. CT on the day of the draws.

[Review complete dispensary license scores obtained by Grown In]

The Tied Applicant Lottery may still be delayed by the courts, as later this month a Cook County Judge is scheduled to hear arguments whether or not a stay on the lottery should be enacted. Plaintiffs in the case have argued that the license scoring was unjustly weighted towards military veteran applicants.

The administration also announced seven inaugural recipients of a Cannabis Community College Vocational Pilot Program license: Kishwaukee College, Oakton College, Olive-Harvey College, Shawnee Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College, and Wilbur Wright College.

Finally, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity launched the Social Equity Loan program to provide five-year, flexible low interest loans to social equity applicants starting and operating cannabis businesses. Two lenders, Good Tree Capital and Credit Union 1, will be administering the program, which provides loans of up to $100,000 for transporters, $500,000 for adult-use dispensaries, $500,000 for infusers, and $1,000,000 for cultivators.