Breadcrumb

Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis Social Equity Program

Social Equity Applicant Criteria

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.

 

Disproportionate Impacted Area Map

The map below shows the Disproportionately Impacted Areas, (DIA) in blue.  Enter the address in the search box to determine if an address is in a DIA.

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 dispensary license application score or Receive 200 points (out of possible total 1000) from Illinois Department of Agriculture on their craft grower, infuser, or transporter 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.