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Adult Use Cannabis

June 2021 Update Relating to Applications for Cannabis Craft Grower, Infuser, and Transporter Licenses

 

Scoring Process Update

On June 1, 2021, the Department of Agriculture (Department) sent out a 4th round of Deficiency Notices to top scoring applicants with missing information in exhibits that were not assigned a point value in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) and its corresponding administrative rules. For craft grower and infuser applications, these include Exhibits N (Property Ownership), O (Notice of Proper Zoning), P (Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure), Q (Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statements), and S (Fingerprint Consent Forms). For transporter applications, these include Exhibits K (Notice of Proper Zoning), L (Financial Interest Disclosure), M (Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statements), and O (Fingerprint Consent Forms). Not all applicants received a Deficiency Notice in this round. Not all applicants who received the 4th round of Deficiency Notices will receive a license.  An applicant who did not receive a 4th round Deficiency Notice may still be eligible for a license.  The Department has provided some questions and answers regarding this round of Deficiency Notices at the link on this page titled Department of Agriculture Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Deficiency Notice Process.

 

Restrictions on Multiple Licenses and Principal Officer License Eligibility

Part of the scoring process includes review of potentially license-eligible applications to ensure they are eligible for licensure under the CRTA. The CRTA and the corresponding administrative rules contain some restrictions on how many cannabis business establishments an individual can be involved in, as well as how many licenses can be held in the following circumstances.

 

For craft grower licenses:

  • A person or entity may only hold one license. (410 ILCS 705/30-5)
  • No license may be issued to a person or entity who is licensed by any licensing authority as a cultivation center, or to any person or entity having more than 10% interest in a person licensed in this State as a cultivation center. (410 ILCS 705/30-20(a)
  • No license may be issued to any principal officer, agent, employee, or human being with any form of ownership or control over a cultivation center. (410 ILCS 705/30-20(a))
  • A person or entity licensed as a craft grower shall not have more than 10% interest in a person licensed as a cultivation center. (410 ILCS 705/30-20(b))
  • No person or business entity that has any interest in a person licensed in this State as a craft grower or a craft grower agent may be a principal officer, agent, employee, or human being with any form of ownership or control over a cultivation center. (410 ILCS 705/30-20(b))
  • No person or entity shall hold any legal, equitable, ownership, or beneficial interest, directly or indirectly, of more than 3 craft grower licenses. (410 ILCS 705/30-30(m))
  • No person or entity employed by, or acting on behalf of, a craft grower shall hold any interest in a craft grower license that would result in the person or entity owning or controlling, in combination with any craft grower or person or entity employed by or acting on behalf of that craft grower, of more than 3 craft grower licenses. (410 ILCS 705/30-30(m))

 

For infuser licenses:

  • No infuser license shall be issued to a person who is licensed by any licensing authority as an infuser. (8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.410(c))
  • No infuser license shall be issued to any person or entity having more than 10% interest in a person licensed in this State as an infuser. (8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.410(c))
  • No infuser license shall be issued to any principal officer, agent, employee, or human being with any form of ownership or control over an infuser. (8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.410(c))
  • No infuser license shall be issued to any applicant with a prospective principal officer or board member has served as a principal officer of board member for a registered dispensing organization that has had its registration revoked or suspended. (8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.410(a)(4))
  • No infuser license shall be issued to any applicant with a principal officer or board member fails a background check under Section 5-20 of the CRTA. (8 Ill Admin. Code 1300.410(a)(6))

 

For all license types, an application must be denied, and no license shall be issued if any of the following conditions are met:

  • A principal officer or board member is under 21 years of age. (craft growers: 410 ILCS 705/30-25; infusers: 410 ILCS 705/35-20; transporters: 410 ILCS 705/40-20)
  • A principal officer or board member has violated the CRTA or its corresponding administrative rules. (craft growers: 410 ILCS 705/30-25; infusers: 410 ILCS 705/35-20; transporters: 410 ILCS 705/40-20)
  • The licensee, a principal officer, board member, or person having a financial or voting interest of 5% of more in the licensee, is delinquent in filing any required tax returns or paying any amounts owed to the State of Illinois. (craft growers: 410 ILCS 705/30-25; infusers: 410 ILCS 705/35-20; transporters: 410 ILCS 705/40-20)

 

Next Steps and License Announcement

Following the review of Supplemental Responses to the 4th round Deficiency Notice and review of the principal officers pursuant to the CRTA and administrative rules, the Department will notify top scoring applicants that meet all statutory requirements of their eligibility to receive a license. This will include notifying any applicants that have principal officers that may violate the restrictions on license eligibility of their potential for licensure and what options they and their principal officer(s) have to move forward. 

In the event of a tie in scoring of the top scoring craft grower and infuser applications, the Department's administrative rules provide for drawing by lot, if necessary, for qualified applicants with the same total score (see 8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.307(d) for craft grower and 8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.407(d) for infusers). The Department will notify tied applicants and will provide information regarding this process.  The Department will provide an update on this webpage should such drawing(s) be necessary.

Prior to receiving a license, applicants for all license types must have their security plan reviewed and approved by the Illinois State Police (craft growers: 410 ILCS 705/30-10(a)(6); infusers: 410 ILCS 705/35-10(a)(6); transporters: 410 ILCS 705/40-10(a)(6)). The Department will provide further information to eligible applicants about this process. Licenses may be issued with conditions or special requirements, such as final review of security plans by the Illinois State Police. The Department is making every effort to complete this scoring process quickly and efficiently, while also ensuring a fair and equitable process for all applicants.

 

Additional Updates

The Department will continue to update this webpage regarding the scoring process and license awards. The Department appreciates applicants' patience during the process to ensure fairness and equity in the Department's cannabis program.

 

 

Adult Use Cannabis

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) legalized the use of marijuana in Illinois for non-medicinal purposes, effective January 1, 2020. This is commonly called "adult use" cannabis, distinguishing it from medicinal marijuana or cannabis, which has been legal in Illinois since 2014. The Department of Agriculture continues to be the regulatory entity for medicinal cannabis cultivation centers, and was given similar authority for regulating certain adult use cannabis business establishments by the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. The Department is tasked with licensing and regulating adult use cultivation centers, cannabis craft growers, cannabis infusers, cannabis transporters, and Community College Vocational Cannabis Pilot Programs.

 

Licenses

There are 21 licensed early approval adult use cultivation centers.pdf. The Department is authorized under the Act, in the first round of licenses to be issued, to license up to 40 cannabis craft growers, 40 cannabis infusers, unlimited transporters, and 8 community college programs.

 

Rules

The Act also gave the Department the authority to adopt administrative rules through the use of emergency rulemaking.  The emergency rules can be found in the Illinois Register here (the rules start on page number 1466/page 779 of the pdf). Those rules took effect on January 1, 2020 and remained in effect for 180 days. ​The final rules became effective upon filing on June 3, 2020, and can be found here.

 

Laboratory Licensing 

Any laboratory seeking to test and analyze adult use cannabis must be approved by the Department of Agriculture, per 410 ILCS 705/50-5(b)(1). The Department will issue a license to a laboratory that meets the requirements outlined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Please see 410 ILCS 705/50 for all of the requirements. Applications for laboratories can be found here: Laboratory License Application.pdf. Submission instructions are included in the Application. For questions related to laboratory licensure, please email AGR.AdultUse@illinois.gov and include "Laboratory Licensure" in the subject line.

A chart of currently licensed laboratories (organized alphabetically) is included below.

Laboratory Name Phone Number
ACT Laboratories, Inc. 517-278-9333
Advanced Herbal Analytics, LLC 618-503-0217
​ARDL, Inc 618-244-3235
CanMed Labs, LLC 718-785-6590
Cogent Lab, LLC 312-897-3731
Deibel Bioscience of Illinois, LLC 847-329-9900
Grace Analytical Laboratory, Inc. 708-449-9449
ICR Labs, Inc. 773-750-7788
LK Pure Labs (Monticello) 618-713-0678
LK Pure Labs (Sparta) 618-443-6685
MS Bioanalyticals, LLC 217-649-6820
Origo Labs, LLC 872-870-0500
QC CLB IV, Inc. 310-448-3093
Unitech Laboratories of Illinois 401-378-1995

 

 

 Adult Use Cannabis Business Establishment Applications and FAQs

The application period for 2020 licenses for Craft Growers, Infusers, Transporters, and Community College Cannabis Vocational Program Applications has closed. 

Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program Application and Exhibits Form 

Community College Cannabis Vocation Pilot Program Applications - Questions & Answers

 

 Craft Grower Application and Exhibits Form.pdf

             Craft Growers Reference Citation Chart.pdf

Infuser Application and Exhibits Form.pdf

            Infuser Reference Citation Chart.pdf

Transporter Application and Exhibits Form.pdf

            Transporter Reference Citation Chart.pdf

  

Attestation of Change in Circumstance.pdf

Attestation of Removed Principal Officer.pdf


Adult Use Cannabis Business Establishment License Applications First Round Questions and Answers.pdf

Adult Use Cannabis Business Establishment License Applications Second Round of Questions and Answers.pdf

Department of Agriculture Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Deficiency Notice Process (Questions and Answers about Deficiency Notices sent in 2021, during the scoring process)


Executive Order 2020-45

The following deadlines/announcements previously set for July 1 have been suspended by Executive Order 2020-45:

  • The Department of Agriculture will NOT be announcing the award of licenses for craft growers, infusers, or transporters.
  • The deadline for Community College Vocational Cannabis Pilot Program Applications was extended to September 1, 2020.
  • The requirement for currently licensed cultivation centers to have obtained a transporter license has been suspended.

The Department of Agriculture will update this webpage when there are new dates to announce for each of the above. Please review the Executive Order or the Department's Press Release for further details. 

Executive Order 2020-45 has been extended by Executive Orders 2020-71 and 2020-74.

 

Deficiencies

If you submitted an application for a craft grower, infuser, or transporter, and you receive an email notifying you of a deficiency in your application, please follow the instructions in that email. Deficiency notices will come from the Department of Agriculture, via email, and will identify the missing information and the proper method of submission. The Department is not able to answer any questions or provide any additional information related to a deficiency notice.

Password expiration emails: The Department's third-party scoring company, KPMG, automatically created secure file transfer portals for most applicants, utilizing applicant email addresses and creating assigned passwords. While not all applicants accessed those sites, the file transfer system may send automatic emails to applicants notifying them that their password is about to expire.  Applicants might receive such an email even if they never accessed the secure file transfer portal.  No action is required from an applicant in response to an email from KPMG regarding the password expiration for the file transfer system.

Please note: If an applicant has trouble accessing their file transfer portal and asks for a password reset, applicants must follow the instructions in the password reset email. Password reset emails that are sent at the applicant's request are NOT the same as the automatically sent password expiration emails.

 

Prior Updates

January 2021 Update Relating to Applications for Cannabis Craft Grower, Infuser, and Transporter Licenses

Scoring Process Update

The scoring process for applications for adult use cannabis craft growers, infusers, and transporters continues to progress. The Department of Agriculture recently sent out communications regarding application status, including deficiency notices and notices of disqualification. The deficiency notices allow applicants the opportunity to submit a supplemental response to address areas of their application identified as having missing information. Applicants should continue to check their email regularly for correspondence from the Department.

 

Next Steps

Following the review of any supplemental responses, the scoring process will proceed to evaluation of the application exhibits that were not assigned a point value in the administrative rules. For craft grower and infuser applications, these include Exhibits N (Property Ownership), O (Notice of Proper Zoning), P (Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure), Q (Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statements), and S (Fingerprint Consent Forms). For transporter applications, these include Exhibits K (Notice of Proper Zoning), L (Financial Interest Disclosure), M (Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statements), and O (Fingerprint Consent Forms). Deficiency notices will be sent to applicants with missing information concerning those Exhibits.

 

Following this process, the Department will notify top scoring applicants that meet all statutory requirements of their eligibility to receive a license.

 

License Announcement and Additional Updates

The Department will continue to update the Department's website to provide updates regarding the scoring process and the license awards as they become available. The Department appreciates applicants' patience as the process to ensure a fair and equitable cannabis program continues.

 

Scoring Process Update

The Department of Agriculture (Department) is committed to ensuring that all applications for craft grower, infuser, and transporter licenses under the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act (Act) are scored in a fair and equitable manner. The next step in the scoring process is the issuance of another round of deficiency notices. The Department is diligently working to provide this round of notices as soon as possible and will provide additional timing information when available. Following issuance of the deficiency notices, applicants will have 10 calendar days to submit complete information in response.

 

Property Issues and Other Requested Changes

The application process for craft grower, infuser, and transporter licenses was established to reduce barriers to entry. Applicants were not required to own or lease property to apply for those licenses. Instead, applicants were required to identify the location of a proposed facility in order to demonstrate that the proposed facility is suitable for effective and safe cultivation of cannabis and production of cannabis-infused products and that it can meet consumer demand by operating in a safe and efficient manner with minimal impact on the environment and the surrounding community.

The Department must issue licenses to the location identified in the application. See 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.307(c) (craft grower); 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.407(c) (infuser); 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.540(a) (transporter).

NOTE: After licenses are awarded, license holders may ask the Department to make modifications to their licenses or to approve a new location.  See 8 Ill. Adm. Code 1300.330, 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.315(e) (craft grower); 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.430, 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.415(e) (infuser); 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.560, 8 Ill. Admin Code 1300.540(c) (transporter).

 

Employment Status

Under the Act, applicants qualify as Social Equity Applicants if they are Illinois residents and, for applicants with a minimum of 10 full-time employees, they have at least 51% of current employees who: (i) reside in a Disproportionately Impacted Area, or (ii) have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any offense that is eligible for expungement under the Act, or (iii) is member of an impacted family under the Act. 410 ILCS 705/1-10.  

If a Social Equity Applicant has been forced to lay off employees due to the economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Equity Applicant may inform the Department of that fact by submitting an Attestation to the Department. To do this, Social Equity Applicants should contact the Department at AGR.ADULTUSE@Illinois.gov.

If an applicant submits an Attestation to the Department and then receives a license, the applicant will be required to employ the necessary number of individuals. Specifically, within 60 days of receiving a license, the licensee must employ the number of individuals necessary to fulfill the Social Equity Applicant status as indicated on their application.

 

Inability to Begin Production Within Six Months

A craft grower licensee is required to begin production within 6 months after the license has been issued.  See 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.310(e). However, a craft grower licensee may submit a written request to the Department for an extension of time to begin production if the licensee provides a justification for being unable to do so within 6 months of license issuance.  See 8 Ill. Admin. Code 1300.310(e).  "The Department may grant an extension, at its discretion, for good cause shown. Good cause may include unforeseen events, acts of nature and other events that prevent a good faith effort."  Id.  If a licensee makes a good faith effort but is unable to construct a craft grower facility due to winter weather conditions, the Department will consider that to constitute good cause.

 

Additional Updates

The Department will continue to provide updates to the scoring process and the license award date on this webpage as they become available.