Technical Assistance for Social Equity Applicants

​DCEO has procured assistance from community-based organizations and education institutions to develop and implement technical assistance programs including virtual events, videos and workshops to assist social equity applicants in their quest to procure and retain a cannabis business license in Illinois. This technical assistance is critical for ensuring equitable representation of small and diverse businesses and entrepreneurs in the emerging cannabis industry.  

Upcoming Technical Assistance

The Trep School
Cannabis Licenses Q&A Session Webinar
Thursday  |  July 29, 2021  | 6:00 PM

Download the Technical Assistance one-pager

Public Education Campaign

To better educate the public about cannabis and alternatives to current cannabis policy, Chicago NORML with support from DCEO created a series of online videos focusing on the following topics: 

Technical Assistance Programs

The Social Equity Cannabis Initiative – Legal Services, Advising, Business Support

The Social Equity Cannabis Initiative, designed by the UIC Law Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic (the "CESEC") in partnership with DCEO, reduces the legal barriers of entry into the emerging Illinois cannabis market for communities harmed by the war on drugs. 

CESEC is a legal clinic located within UIC John Marshall Law School that provides the following services to help Social Equity Applicants understand the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the "CRTA") and other cannabis-related laws: 

Read an overview of the Social Equity Cannabis Initiative and its resources:


The Trep School – Pre and Post Licensing Training and Business Support Services

The Trep School provides training and technical assistance to Illinois cannabis social equity applicants (SEAs) and licensees in general business startup support, employment practices, and cannabis industry-specific issues.

Training Webinars

One-on-One Technical Assistance
To register for an "one-on-one" phone or virtual sessions, call 217-497-9227 or email *Individualized sessions are limited to social equity applicants only. Proof of social equity applicant status is required.


Oakton Community College – Cannabis Industry Certificates and Workshops, Business Support

Oakton Community College is currently offering for-credit courses with the opportunity for social equity applicants to earn certificates in cannabis industry specialties.  Their post-license training plan is geared toward building upon their current cannabis education program by preparing social equity applicants for the next round of dispensary license applications, creating business plans and operational agreements; in addition to conducting one-on-on consulting.

  • Cannabis dispensary application overview sessions
  • Small Group Workshops
  • One-on-One Consulting for SEAs

Register for upcoming Webinars and one-on-one consultations:


Women's Business Development Center – Post-Licensing Business Support

Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) provides a post-license training plan that includes an 8-week CannaBiz Essential series where Social Equity Applicants (SEAs) learn about starting a cannabis or cannabis-related business in Illinois, in addition to offering webinars on topics like banking in the cannabis industry, recognizing transferrable skills for the cannabis industry, and recruiting top tier talent; in addition to conducting one-on-on consulting.