Earlier this month the Illinois Department of Agriculture released an updated list of 54 craft grow and 53 infuser license holders and locations. This somewhat slimmed down list comes after the Department announced 40 craft grow licenses in July 2021 and announced 48 this month.
“The Department is in the process of issuing licenses to additional awardees as payments are received,” said Krista Lisser, the public information officer for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, in an email.
“Applicants were not required to own or lease property to apply for those licenses. Instead, applicants were required to identify the location of a proposed facility in order to demonstrate that the proposed facility is suitable for effective and safe cultivation of cannabis and production of cannabis-infused products, and that it can meet consumer demand by operating in a safe and efficient manner with minimal impact on the environment and the surrounding community,” she added.
The Department must issue licenses to the location identified in the application, Lisser said. After licenses are awarded, licensees can ask the Department of Agriculture to make modifications to their licenses or to approve a new location.
Cook County is gaining at least 11 craft grower locations – 20% of the total. The craft growers are spread across Richton Park, Chicago, Chicago Heights, South Chicago, Broadview, Crestwood, Forest Park, and Bellwood. Also, nine more are located in Chicago’s Collar Counties, in McHenry, Kane, and Will Counties. No addresses were listed yet for Lake or DuPage Counties.
Eighteen locations have addresses listed as “New Location to be Determined,” meaning a third of businesses have to find another place to do business.
Those unlocated licenses are probably applicants who have told the Department that they are moving or have lost their original property, said Scott Redman, founder of the Illinois Independent Craft Growers Association and Chief Legal Officer and general counsel of craft grower Drecisco Farms in McHenry County.
“The issuance of the first licenses was delayed by over a year. Many groups that won a license in July 2021 had lost their original property and have had to locate a new one. Some groups continue to have a hard time locating a suitable property,” Redman wrote in an email.
“[W]e moved our site and applied for a location change. The Department of [Agriculture] took a number of months to reply and tentatively approved the new location but we then had to submit new construction drawings (as required by the Act). The Department requires a full set of blueprints in order to approve a location change. We submitted most of our drawings, but a complete set takes a long time so we are still working on those. Thus, the Department shows our location as TBD.”
The Department did not respond to inquiries about locations that are to be determined.
In February, when the Department of Agriculture granted 66 transporter licenses, 40 craft grow licenses, and 32 infuser licenses, only eight businesses had locations to be determined.
McHenry County came in far second, in terms of number of craft grower locations, with four businesses spread across the towns of Marengo, Harvard, Cary, and Huntley.
Other counties that received at least one craft grower license include: Champaign County, home of University of Illinois’ main campus, Sangamon County, where the state capital, Springfield is located, Jefferson County, Jo Daviess County, Kankakee County, LaSalle County, and far southern Madison County.
There were 50 infuser locations announced, and three that had addresses to be determined. Twenty – or 37.7% – infusers are located in Cook County. Also,15 more are located in suburban Chicago, in McHenry, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties. No addresses were listed yet in DuPage County.