CannabisEquity

NEW! Click Here for the Social Equity Cannabis Business Development Fund Loan.

 

Technical assistance workshops are coming soon! Please check back for a list of workshops.

 

The Department’s rules for the Social Equity Cannabis Business Development Fund Loan have been published in the Illinois Register.  If you have any comments or questions about the proposed rules, please follow the comment instructions in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has released a Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for grants to provide technical assistance to social equity applicants in the cannabis industry. Technical assistance includes training and education on how to complete various components of a license application, industry best practices, business planning, and more. If you plan to apply for a grant to provide technical assistance services, please make sure that you have completed GATA certification or have started the process to be GATA certified. These steps take some time. If you are not currently GATA certified and do not expect to be GATA certified in time to apply for a grant, you may partner with an organization that does have that certification to provide services as a subgrantee (or subcontractor).


Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis and Social Equity

Pursuant to the Cannabis Regulation & Tax Act (“Act”), 410 ILCS 705, cannabis will be legal for adult use in Illinois starting on January 1, 2020. The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that communities historically impacted by the criminalization of cannabis have an opportunity to participate in the legal cannabis industry. In order to address the impact on those communities, the Act establishes a program for Social Equity Applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Has at least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals who:
    • Have lived in a Disproportionately Impacted Area in 5 of the past 10 years (see map below for Disproportionately Impacted Areas).
    • Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.
    • Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.
  • Has more than 10 full-time employees, and more than half of those employees:
    • Currently reside in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (see map below for Disproportionately Impacted Areas).
    • Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including cannabis possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.
    • Have a parent, child, or spouse that has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis-related offenses eligible for expungement, including possession up to 500 grams or intent to deliver up to 30 grams.

The map below shows the Disproportionately Impacted Areas in blue.  To determine if an address is located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area, enter the address in the search box.

 

Click here to download the GIS shapefile for Disproportionately Impacted Areas. 

 

Social equity applicants can receive the following supports and services:

  • Receive technical assistance and support provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to Social Equity Applicants on everything from creating a business plan to applying for a license at a range of locations throughout the state. Information will be coming soon on where to find technical assistance to prepare your application and start and operate your business.
  • Receive 50 points (out of a possible total of 250) from IDFPR on their license application score.
  • Pay reduced license and application fees.
  • Access to low-interest loans provided through DCEO for starting and operating a cannabis-related business. For more information on the social equity cannabis loan program, click here.

For more information on applying for a license and other details, see the links below.