Illinois dispensaries with original medical licenses are racing to open their "plus one" locations, like EarthMed's Rosemont location, which opened this week. Credit: Earthmed

Incumbent medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois that have not opened state-awarded second recreational locations have until March 31 to finalize municipal zoning and get their construction plans approved. 

Failure to do so could result in having their “plus one” recreational license rescinded by the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation. 

Grown In, through multiple sources, has learned that perhaps 19 medical dispensaries throughout the state were put on notice by the IDFPR. It is believed that as many as seven currently don’t have zoning approval or construction plans set to meet the deadline.  

Failure to meet the deadline could result in the loss of a license that private investors and cannabis corporations are paying a premium to own. Chicago-based Midway Dispensary, for instance, last month agreed to sell its original medical and recreational dispensary on the Southwest Side plus the license to open a second recreational dispensary (now planned for Chicago Heights) for $25 million to New York-based multistate operator Ascend Wellness Holdings. 

There is still time, sources note, to get municipal approval and have construction plans reviewed by the IDFPR in the next 10 weeks. A “provisional” approval from the IDFPR would allow the second location to be completed and open for business after the March 31 deadline.

The construction requirements deadline is doable, says Andy Poticha of Cannabis Facilities Construction.

“We can construct these buildings in somewhere between eight and 12 weeks depending on the complexity and what’s going into them so long as we have the plans,” he said. 

Grown In contacted IDFPR for comment, but did not receive a response by publication.

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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.