Thought Leadership

Open For Business: Illinois Adult Use Dispensary License Applications Now Available

October 4, 2019 Advisory

Earlier this year, Illinois adopted the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making it the 11th state to legalize recreational or adult use marijuana. On Oct. 1, 2019, Illinois invited new license participants to join the new industry, which is projected to generate up to $2.5 billion annually.

When adult sales begin on Jan. 1, 2020, the 22 cultivators and 55 dispensaries serving the state’s approximately 77,000 registered medical marijuana patients will be asked to also meet consumer demand. To help meet that demand, the Act authorized existing dispensary licensees to apply for one additional dispensary location. But many more facilities of every type will be needed, and Illinois will issue those licenses through several rounds of licensure.

In this first round, Illinois will issue 75 dispensary licenses, geographically dispersed across 17 Bureau of Labor Statistics regions. The application materials include a map showing these regions, along with a map identifying disproportionally impacted areas (relevant to the Act’s social equity provisions). The primary application document identifies 20 sections with different page or word count limits. To access the application materials, follow this link and then navigate to “Adult Use License for New Dispensing Organizations.”   

Serious applicants should begin working with experienced attorneys and industry consultants right away. Armstrong Teasdale’s Marijuana Law attorneys have significant experience advising and assisting companies in securing and keeping licenses to grow, manufacture and dispense marijuana and hemp products. These new dispensary applications are more complex than Illinois’s 2014 medical marijuana facility applications, and the competition for these valuable licenses will be staggering. The application deadline is Jan. 2, 2020. 

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