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.
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.
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.
At this time, there are 21 licensed
early approval adult use cultivation centers.pdf. The Department is authorized under the Act to license up to 40 cannabis craft growers, 40 cannabis infusers, unlimited transporters, and 8 community college programs in 2020.
The Department is not authorized to license any additional adult use cultivation centers until July 1, 2021. By December 21, 2021, the Department will issue up to 60 additional cannabis craft grower licenses and 60 additional cannabis infuser licenses.
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.
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.
ACT Laboratories, Inc.||
Advanced Herbal Analytics, LLC||
CanMed Labs, LLC||
Cogent Lab, LLC||
Deibel Bioscience of Illinois, LLC||
Grace Analytical Laboratory, Inc.||
ICR Labs, Inc.||
LK Pure Labs (Monticello)||
LK Pure Labs (Sparta)||
MS Bioanalyticals, LLC||
Origo Labs, LLC ||
QC CLB IV, Inc.||
Unitech Laboratories of Illinois||
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
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
Executive Order 2020-45
Executive Order 2020-45:
The following deadlines/announcements previously set for July 1 have been suspended by
- 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
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.
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).
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.
The Department will continue to provide updates to the scoring process and the license award date on this webpage as they become available.