IDFPR issues Declination Form to Become an “Eligible Applicant”

In another indication that the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation will begin announcing licensure news for dispensary applicants, the office this week issued a Declination to Become an “Eligible Applicant” Under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act Under Administrative Rules.

The declination provides information to applicants in the event their submission enters into a tie-breaking process. Specifically stated on the form, “a tied applicant is prohibited from becoming an eligible applicant if a principal officer of the tied applicant is a principal officer of more tied applicants than the number of remaining licenses available.”

Announcements for 75 highly coveted dispensary licenses were initially scheduled for June 30, and are now expected to be made by the IDFPR in September. Cannabis entrepreneurs, operators, investors and service providers throughout the state anxiously await to learn who receives licenses, who ends up in tie-breaker processes and how license holders reflect the intent of The Illinois Adult-Use Social Equity Program.

“They are lining up all their ducks in a row so that when decisions begin to be announced they will have a viable workflow that will make the controversial process as transparent as possible,” says Mark Peysakhovich, a cannabis industry lobbyist and consultant.  

Traverse City sets up competitive process for licenses

Earlier this week Traverse City Commission members approved a points awarding process for up to four recreational cannabis retail centers and two microbusinesses – retail locations that can grow up to 150 plants on site. The licenses can be sited only in the city’s downtown area, but not on the main commercial strip. 

The process is unusual for most municipalities, which often award cannabis licenses through council meetings on a case-by-base basis. Extra points will be awarded to Traverse City applicants who have already improved vacant or underused property – but not to those who merely plan to do so. Tiebreakers will be drawn out of a hat and the city will charge a $5,000 fee for applicants.

Naperville and Arlington Heights green light recreational sales 

Although the State of Illinois made adult-use recreational sales legal on January 1, 2020, city councils of municipalities throughout the state, including Naperville and Arlington Heights, took a wait and see approach.

This week Naperville’s City Council passed an ordinance by a 6-3 vote to allow three recreational dispensaries to operate in the city of more than 150,000 citizens. The 3C Naperville medical dispensary, operated by Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, will be able to sell to recreational consumers.

The Verilife medical dispensary in Arlington Heights, which is operated by Chicago-based Pharmacann, will be able to sell cannabis to recreational consumers beginning September 1. Verilife’s 18-month pilot was approved earlier this week by the Arlington Heights Village Board. 

Cannabis Equity IL Coalition to host webinar on record expungement  

 In conjunction with National Expungement Week, the Cannabis Equity IL Coalition this afternoon will host a webinar from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. offering information and resources for individuals to expunge cannabis infractions from their records. The webinar will stream live via Facebook via @CannaEquityIL. Individuals can also register for a free RAP Sheet Day on September 4.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.