Illinois Awards 48 Craft Grow Licenses
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has awarded 48 craft grow licenses, completing the licensing round that began in December of 2021. As of June 1, 2022, the Department of Agriculture has awarded a total of 341 adult use cannabis licenses for craft growers, infusers and transporters under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Of the newly issued craft grow licenses, 42% (20) are majority Black-owned, 36% (17) are majority White-owned, 8% (4) are majority Hispanic-Owned, and 8% are owned by a partnership group. Six percent of awardees did not provide that information. One hundred percent of new licenses were issued to Social Equity Applicants.
“Illinois’ cannabis industry started out with businesses with owners who all looked the same, but with each new set of licenses, we come closer and closer to realizing our vision for a truly diverse industry,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m especially pleased that 100 percent of these craft grow licensees come from a social equity background, and I look forward to many more businesses opening their doors and creating even more good jobs.”
Since 2021, the department has issued 88 craft grow licenses, 54 infuser licenses, 189 transporter licenses and approved 10 community colleges to participate in Community College Cannabis Vocational Training Pilot Program. These are in addition to the 21 existing Early Approval Adult Use Cultivation Centers, previously approved under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program.
“The Department is thrilled to announce the issuance of these licenses,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Jerry Costello II. “These licensees now join those licensed by the Department last year to form the foundation of the legal cannabis industry in Illinois, and together will generate thousands of well-paying jobs across the state as they come online. Our team has remained highly focused on its core mission of developing a well-regulated and equitable industry. With now a second cohort of 100% social equity licensees, we’re proud to say that we have taken the first steps toward fulfilling the vision of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act passed by the Legislature. The Department looks forward to working with these licensees over the next weeks and months as the industry grows and matures.”
Through a separate program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the State of Illinois offers low-interest loans to qualified licensed companies through its Social Equity Cannabis Loan Program. The first round of social equity license applicants are expected to finalize loan agreements directly with DCEO’s partner lending institutions in the coming weeks. The next phase of the loan program will be launched in the near future.
DCEO also funds free licensing and post-licensing technical assistance through their partners at Oakton Community College, The Trep School, the Women’s Business Development Center, and the University of Illinois Chicago Law School.