Questions and Answers Regarding the June 2021 Deficiency Notices
The following are questions and answers the Department of Agriculture ("Department") has provided regarding the fourth round of deficiency notices. Additional questions may be submitted to AGR.AdultUse@illinois.gov. Please include "Q&A" in the subject line to ensure review.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully review the application instructions, information in the application for each exhibit, reference citations, and deficiency notice to identify the missing information and submit a Supplemental Response. Applicants should not assume that something was marked on their Notice in error.
Questions may be rephrased. Questions already answered in this Q&A or another will not be posted here. The Department will not post questions that are fact or case specific to certain applicants and cannot provide answers or advise on such. The Department will not respond to questions via email.
Please monitor this webpage for answers to additional questions. The Department will make all reasonable efforts to update this page daily by 4pm Central Time, as needed.
1. Why didn't I get a Deficiency Notice?
This 4th round of Deficiency Notices addresses missing information in the exhibits that were not assigned a point value (Exhibits N - S for craft grow and infuser applications; Exhibits K - O for transporter applications). The 4th round of Deficiency Notices were sent to top scoring applicants who were missing documents required by statute. No points will be awarded or removed as a result of these notices. Not all applicants who received the 4th round of Deficiency Notices will receive a license. Not all applicants received a Deficiency Notice in this round.
2. How do know whether I should have received a Deficiency Notice?
Not all applicants received a 4th round Deficiency Notice. All Notices were sent by the Department's AGR.AdultUse@illinois.gov email address. Notices were sent to the primary and secondary email addresses provided by the applicant at the time of submission or to updated email addresses if the applicant has provided updated contact information to the Department. Applicants that are concerned they may have missed the Notice are encouraged to check their spam or junk email folders.
3. I submitted multiple applications and received Deficiency Notice(s) for some but not all. Is that an error? What does that mean?
Please see the answers to 1 and 2 above.
4. If I didn't get a 4th round Deficiency Notice, am I still eligible for a license?
If you did not receive a 4th round Deficiency Notice, you may still be eligible to receive a license.
5. Will I be able to submit my Fingerprint Consent Form to the SFTP site after the 10 days?
Yes. For the Fingerprint Consent Form, applicants have 40 days from the date of the Deficiency Notice to submit.
6. Exhibit N for craft grower and infuser applications asks applicants to provide verification of property ownership. Does verification from the property owner need to be notarized or signed?
No, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and corresponding administrative rules do not contain specific requirements for the form of verification.
7. Exhibit P for craft grower and infuser applications requires applicants to show proof of $20,000 in liquid assets. Should the proof establish the $20,000 was available at the time the original application was submitted or at the time of the response to the Deficiency Notice or be updated?
Applicants should submit proof of $20,000 at the time the original application was submitted in March or April of 2020.
8. Exhibit P for craft grower and infuser applications required applicants to disclose the "nature and type of any outstanding bonds, loans, lines of credit, etc., issued or executed, or to be issued or executed, in connection with the opening or operating of the proposed" applicant. If I have acquired new liens and loans, do I need to send those in?
No. Applicants should submit information regarding liens, loans, lines of credit, etc., as of the time the original application was submitted in March or April of 2020.
9. I do not understand why my Deficiency Notice indicated that there was a deficiency with my Fingerprint Consent Form in Exhibit S for craft grower and infuser applications and Exhibit O for transporter applications. I submitted the Form.
Applicants were required to submit a redacted and unredacted Fingerprint Consent Form for every agent, employee, board member, and principal officer.
10. I do not understand why my Deficiency Notice indicated that there was a deficiency with my Notarized Statement in Exhibit R for craft grower and infuser applications and Exhibit P for transporter applications. I submitted the Statement from my application.
Applicants were required to submit redacted and unredacted Notarized Statements that were filled out in the signature block.
11. I have a question about the SFTP site, a password reset, SFTP login information, or something similar. Who should I contact?
Carefully review the Notice you received for your specific SFTP access information. Section IV of the Notice also includes additional SFTP information that may be helpful. If the Notice does not answer your question, for SFTP related inquires only, applicants may contact KPMG via email at us-adv-idoa@KPMG.com.
12. If an uploaded file is corrupt or unreadable, will the applicant receive any notice or opportunity to correct?
Any Supplemental Response must be submitted by 11:59 PM Central Time on the due date set forth in the Deficiency Notice. The Department encourages early submission so that any issues identified may be addressed by the applicant before the Supplemental Response deadline. All Supplemental Responses should be submitted in readable PDF format. If your Supplemental Response is provided in a corrupt file format, your Supplemental Response will not be reviewed.
13. My original Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit (Exhibit P for craft grower and infuser applications) or Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit (Exhibit L for transporter applications) contained all of the information specified in the Deficiency Notice. Why is it marked as deficient?
Many applicants submitted anonymous versions of this exhibit. The application instructions identified this as an exhibit that should not be anonymized. If a deficiency is noted in your Deficiency Notice for this exhibit, please carefully review what was noted as deficient and the appropriate statutory authority and administrative rules.
14. I submitted all of the relevant information about my other or prior licenses as part of the Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Form (Exhibit Q for craft grower and infuser applications, Exhibit M for transporter applications). Why did this get marked as deficient?
Please carefully review the Form and that exhibit and ensure that you have provided all the required supporting documents (e.g. the license, verification statement, and disciplinary disclosure) in the required manner (e.g. a copy of the license, rather than a license number and jurisdiction).
15. I used a Form in the application for the Exhibit and submitted a complete form/Exhibit. Why is it marked as deficient?
All of the forms in each exhibit for each application identify the application type at the top of the form, in the header. All forms and exhibits submitted for an application must match the application type (e.g. a craft grower application's Notice of Proper Zoning Exhibit must say "Cannabis Craft Grower" in the header; an infuser application's Notarized Statement must say "Cannabis Infuser" in the header). Forms and exhibits that are inconsistent with the type of application submitted are considered deficient.
16. For Infuser Exhibit P, Item 5, who is to provide the certification on the certified financial statement? There has been no guidance on this. Is it a CPA or an applicant officer?
The CRTA and the administrative rules do not require the certification be from a specific individual. The certification should be from an individual with sufficient knowledge and experience of the applicant's finances.
17. What should be included in the ownership structure?
Please see the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit, point 1, for the information to be included with the ownership structure.
18. Do percentage interests in the Operating Agreement suffice or do we need to submit an additional form with the percentage interests?
Percentage interest should be easily found and discernible for all parties with a financial interest and must equal 100%.
19. If the Company does not have any compensation agreements, management agreements, supply agreements, or other financial documents between or among the Applicant and any persons having a financial interest and/or control in the licensee, including growers, owners, and officers BUT plans to enter into them if and after the company receives a license is it ok not to submit anything for this?
The Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit requires "Copies of compensation agreements, management agreements, supply agreements, or other financial documents between or among the Applicant and any persons having a financial interest and/or control in the licensee, including growers, owners, and officers, or a narrative if the agreement is oral."
Please note the broad language of the application and the requirement that a narrative be provided if the agreement is oral. If an applicant truly has no agreement of any kind between its owners and those with financial interest in the applicant, then the applicant should state as much in their Supplemental Response. Applicants that do not have one or any of those agreement or documents should note specifically what they do not have or have not entered into.
20. For the Notice of Proper Zoning Exhibit, relating to the requested copy of the local zoning ordinance or regulation, is a text document (.pdf) containing the full text of the applicable local zoning regulation sufficient?
Yes, so long as it identifies the jurisdiction.
21. For the Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Exhibit, does the verification statement and disciplinary disclosure have to be two separate supporting documents, or can we blend both elements into one combined statement in one single supporting document?
The Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Exhibit requires "(2 provide a statement granting Department permission to contact the regulatory authority that issued the license and verify the information contained in this application, and; (3 disclose whether the entity's license or authorization was ever suspended, revoked, or otherwise sanctioned, and provide a copy of that documentation, or a statement of no sanction."
Applicants must provide a statement from a licensing authority (if applicable), a disclosure of prior discipline (if applicable), and any documentation related to the prior discipline (if applicable).
If an applicant chooses to combine any of these items, it is the applicant's responsibility to make sure they are clearly identified as responses to the appropriate prompts and easily distinguishable.
22. The definition for principal officer in the Emergency rules is as follows:
A cannabis business establishment applicant or licensed cannabis business establishment's board member, owner with more than 1% interest of the total cannabis business establishment or more than 5% interest of the total cannabis business establishment of a publicly traded company;
President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, partner, officer, member, managing member, or person with a profit sharing, financial interest or revenue sharing agreement.
The definition includes....
The definition for financial interest in the Emergency rules is as follows:
any actual or future right to ownership, investment or compensation arrangement with another person, either directly or indirectly through business, investment, spouse, partner or child, in a cultivation center........
The definition of cultivation center means a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the DOA to cultivate, process, transport, and perform other necessary activities to provide cannabis and cannabis infused products to cannabis business establishments.
So, if our operating agreement includes that the interest may be transferred to owners' heirs if the company doesn't buy back the deceased member's interest, do we have to include our member's spouse as a principal officer?
Please see the Department of Agriculture's Second Round of Application Questions and Answers, question 22.
23. On The Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Statement Exhibit, relating to the checkbox "Prior or current license/authorization to cultivate, produce, or distribute cannabis in any state or jurisdiction?" - one of our principal officers is currently an Illinois state-licensed grow manager (agent-in-charge) for a large Illinois state licensed cannabis cultivation facility - he checked the box "Yes" and included a copy of Cultivation Center Agent Card, which is the extent of verification documents that is given to such a cultivator. Do I need to include a license copy for the company he cultivates cannabis for? He is not a principal officer of such company but is authorized through the State of Illinois to cultivate cannabis.
No. Please note that applicants who mark "yes" to that question must also include "(2 provide a statement granting Department permission to contact the regulatory authority that issued the license and verify the information contained in this application, and; (3 disclose whether the entity's license or authorization was ever suspended, revoked, or otherwise sanctioned, and provide a copy of that documentation, or a statement of no sanction."
24. If we learned a principal officer does have "Prior or current license/authorization to cultivate, produce, or distribute cannabis in any state or jurisdiction" - are we able to check "Yes" and attempt to cure this deficiency with supported documentation?
Applicants should only respond to the deficiencies noted in their Deficiency Notice. Information submitted that is not responsive to an identified deficiency will not be reviewed.
The Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Statement required principal officers to disclose prior licensure. Providing inaccurate or false information is grounds for license denial.
25. According to Section 1300.300 - License Application of the Illinois Administrative code, applicants must answer "if any principal officers or board members are currently, or have been previously, licensed or authorized in another state or jurisdiction to produce, distribute, or otherwise sell cannabis in any form" - on the license application the phrasing "any state or jurisdiction" is used. If a principal officer has experience cultivating cannabis in Illinois as a grow manager employee for a licensed cultivator but not in another state, should we still check "Yes" for this box?
Yes. Applicants should answer all questions on the application completely. As noted, the question says "any state or jurisdiction."
26. I noticed we are in need of an ordinance, we received Signature from the Chicago Zoning Authority, should we ask them for a copy of the ordinance? We thought their signature and ok, would approve that our location fits the zoning.
The Notice of Proper Zoning Exhibit in the application states, "Applicant must submit a copy of the zoning ordinance or regulation with this Exhibit." Please note that a copy of the ordinance must be submitted: letters, citations, links, maps, or something similar are not acceptable.
27. Regarding the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit, which says, "Applicant must include the nature and type of any outstanding bonds, loans, lines of credit, etc., issued or executed, or to be issued or executed, in connection with the opening or operating of the proposed infuser. " If the applicant does not have any outstanding bonds, loans, lines of credit, etc., issued or executed, or to be issued or executed, in connection with the opening or operating of the proposed infuser, and stated so, why would I receive a deficiency?
Please see question #19 above.
28a. Regarding the Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Exhibit, if an applicant received deficiencies concerning Exhibit M "This Form must be filled out in its entirety." along with "For any questions marked "yes" on the Form, Applicant must use the additional lines at the bottom of the form to provide further details. Additional pages can be attached as necessary." Could not completing the additional lines at the bottom of the form to provide further details trigger both of these deficiencies? As, if a question is marked "yes" and the applicant did not complete the additional lines for further details, the form would not be "filled out in its entirety".
The Principal Officer and Board Member Disclosure Statement states, "Check Yes or No for the following questions. For any questions marked Yes, use the additional lines at the bottom of this form to provide further details: year, jurisdiction, amount, resolution, and any other pertinent information. Attached additional pages as necessary" (emphasis added).
28b. if so, should these be addressed separately in our response?
If an applicant chooses to combine any items, it is the applicant's responsibility to make sure they are clearly identified as responses to the appropriate prompts and easily distinguishable.
29. How does an out-of-state applicant or employee complete the livescan fingerprint screening?
If you reside outside of Illinois and are unable to have your fingerprints taken by an Illinois licensed fingerprint vendor, you may have your fingerprints taken by an out-of-state agency or vendor such as a local police department. Once the fingerprints have been taken, you will need to mail them to an Illinois licensed vendor to be scanned. If you intend to have your fingerprints taken by an out-of-state agency or vendor, please follow the steps below:
- Identify an Illinois licensed vendor to which you plan to send your fingerprints. Contact the vendor and confirm it will accept your fingerprints from another state. The Illinois licensed vendor must have Card Scan capability to process fingerprints taken by an out-of-state agency or vendor. The Illinois licensed vendor may have further instructions for you.
- Identify a local agency or vendor at which your fingerprints can be taken.
- When you go to the local agency or vendor to have your fingerprints taken, you will bring the Fingerprint Consent Form in the application. This form must be used for fingerprints taken in Illinois or out-of-state.
- Fingerprints must be taken within 30 days of the Supplemental Response being submitted.
- You will then mail the FBI Card and Fingerprint Consent Form to the Illinois licensed vendor you identified in step one of this process. The Illinois licensed vendor will scan your fingerprint card and transmit your fingerprint data electronically to the Illinois State Police (ISP). A Transaction Control Number (TCN) will be assigned at that time. The fingerprint vendor will provide you with a receipt including the date your fingerprints were taken and the TCN number. Please submit this receipt and a copy of the Fingerprint Consent Form with your Application. Be sure to fill out every field on the Fingerprint Consent Form, including the TCN in the Facility Information Section.
30. This Deficiency Notice asks for information related to an infuser application, but the applicant and referenced exhibit is related to a transportation application.
Applicants should provide the information being requested in the Notice for the license type they applied for.
31. If I submitted a Certificate of Good Standing, why did I get a Deficiency Notice? Is it possible that I got a Deficiency Notice because the Certificate expired since last year?
The date on the Certificate of Good Standing had to be within 60 days of the date the application was submitted.
32. For the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit (Exhibit P), if the applicant has a supplier agreement or contract with a business entity, and the contract was signed by an individual, does the applicant need the individual and the business entity to fill out the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit Form in its entirety?
The Form in the Exhibit must be completed for the entity or person with whom the applicant has entered into an the agreement: i.e., if the agreement is with an individual, the individual should complete the Form; if the agreement is with a business entity, the Form should be completed for the business entity.
33. Does the applicant need to submit fingerprints for employees who were hired pursuant to the Social Equity provisions?
34. In the Deficiency Notice it states that there should be redacted and unredacted versions of each exhibit submitted. In the original application it states that certain specific exhibits should not be anonymous, is this still the case?
Yes. Applicant must submit a redacted and unredacted copy of each Supplemental Response, per the instructions in the Notice. The application instructions for anonymous and not anonymous exhibits are still in effect.
35. For craft grower and infuser applications, Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure (Exhibit P) requires proof of $20,000 in liquid assets. How can an applicant show documentation indicating they have $20,000 in liquid assets? Should there be a bank account for the entity?
The Act and the rules do not require a bank/financial account, an account to be in a specific name, or any specific format for proof of the liquid asset requirement.
36. For transporter applications, the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure (Exhibit L), for disclosure and documentation of funding, what type of documents should the applicant submit?
The Act and the rules do not require a bank/financial account, an account to be in a specific name, or any specific format for proof of the liquid asset requirement.
37. For craft grower and infuser applications, Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure (Exhibit P), if an applicant provides a bank statement to show proof of $20,000 liquid assets, does the applicant have to have the Form filled out for the bank?
No, unless the bank has a "financial interest" in the applicant, as defined in the administrative rules.
38. For the Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure Exhibit (Exhibit P for craft growers and infusers, L for transporters), if the applicant has a supplier agreement or contract with a business entity, and the contract was signed by an individual, does the applicant need the individual and the business entity to fill out the Form in its entirety?
The Form must be completed in its entirety for the entity or person with whom the applicant has entered into an agreement: i.e., if the agreement is with an individual, the individual should complete the Form; if the agreement is with a business entity, the Form should be completed for the business entity.
39. For infuser applicants, what are we supposed to provide if our Notice has this marked: Applicant must provide documentation sufficient to show that Applicant will be able to obtain insurance to indemnify and hold harmless the State as required by law.
Please see question 2 in the Infuser Section of the Applications Second Round of Questions and Answers.
40. I did not gt a confirmation email saying my document had been uploaded successfully. Can you confirm that my documents were uploaded successfully? How can I check this information?
The Department cannot provide this confirmation. Applicants can log into the SFTP site with their log in information to determine what has been uploaded.
Department of Agriculture Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the Deficiency Notice Process - February 1, 2021
The following are frequently asked questions that the Department of Agriculture ("Department") has received regarding the deficiency notice process. Additional information can also be found in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, administrative rules, the applications, deficiency notices, and the First and Second Round Questions & Answers previously posted by the Department and available on the Department website.
- Which types of documentation constitute sufficient evidence of residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area ("DIA") and for Illinois residency?
Sufficient proof of residency is the same whether it is for Illinois residency or to establish residency in a DIA. Residency requires two forms of proof per person per year.
To qualify as a Social Equity Applicant on the basis that persons owning and controlling more than 50% of the business entity resided in a DIA for five of the past 10 years, the applicant must provide
2 forms of proof for each of the 5 claimed years for each principal officer establishing residency in the DIA.
Acceptable forms of proof to establish residency (as described in the definition of "resided" in Section 1-10 of the Act) include:
A signed lease agreement that includes the applicant's name;
A property deed that includes the applicant's name;
A voter registration card;
An Illinois driver's license, an Illinois Identification Card, or an Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card;
A paycheck stub;
A utility bill; or
Tax records (e.g. filed copies of federal 1040 tax return (without schedules or other forms), IL-8453 attestation of e-filing, or other tax records).
A document such as a driver's license is acceptable proof for each year in which the license is valid. For example, a driver's license that was issued in September 2017 and expires in September 2021 is acceptable as one of the two required forms of proof of residency for 2017, 2018, and 2019. The principal officer(s) needs to provide a second form of proof of residency for 2017 to 2019 and two additional forms of proof of residency for at least two other years during the last 10 years.
To satisfy the criteria for Illinois residency when the applicant is a business entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company, the applicant must have been incorporated in and doing business in Illinois as of the date the application was submitted. A business entity can demonstrate Illinois residency by submitting the incorporation documents on file with the Illinois Secretary of State's Office. If the business entity was incorporated in another state on the day it submitted its application, the applicant cannot change its state of residency.
Any documents that were expressly listed on the application as acceptable forms of proof of residency remain acceptable throughout the entire review process, including responses to deficiency notices.
Do property tax records constitute sufficient evidence for DIA qualification for the year they were paid?
Property tax payment records are sufficient evidence of residence in a DIA for the applicable tax payment period, regardless of the date of payment. Does a "Notice of Foreclosure" constitute sufficient evidence for DIA qualification?
A Notice of Foreclosure is sufficient evidence of residence in a DIA during the year of the Notice of Foreclosure.
Does a Form IL-1040-X constitute sufficient evidence for DIA qualification if the amendment was submitted after the original submission date?
A Form IL-1040-X is sufficient evidence of residence in a DIA for the applicable tax payment period, regardless of the date filing or the date of the amendment.
When are Supplemental Responses and the survey due?
Responses to the third round of deficiency notices, including responses to the survey, must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the date the deficiency notices were sent. For notices sent on January 26, that means no later than 11:59 PM (Central Standard Time) on February 5, 2021.
Will an applicant be disqualified if they do not fill out the survey?
While completing the survey is highly recommended and will greatly assist in the efficiency of the scoring process, failure to fill out the survey will not result in disqualification if the applicant timely provides the information identified as missing in the deficiency notice.
Can an applicant lose points for submitting a Supplemental Response?
No. What resources are available to assist applicants in responding to the deficiency notices?
The Department has provided responses to frequently asked questions received from applicants. Applicants can find additional relevant information in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, administrative rules, original applications, prior deficiency notices, and previous FAQs on the Department's website.
Can I change the location of my proposed facility if I no longer have access to the property or location identified in my original application?
The Department must issue licenses restricted 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).
After licenses are awarded, license holders may request that the Department make modifications to their licenses or 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). Additional information will be made available after the conclusion of the scoring process for applicants to request such a change.
Will there be additional rounds of deficiency notices?
The current round of deficiency notices addresses missing information from exhibits that were assigned a point value in the administrative rules. Following the conclusion of the current round of deficiency notices, the Department may issue additional deficiency notices for exhibits that were not assigned a point value in the administrative rules.
If all measures in an exhibit are said to be deficient, does an applicant resubmit the revised exhibit in its entirety?
Applicants should submit a Supplemental Response to address each scoring measure identified in the deficiency notice per the instructions in the notice. The Supplemental Responses should not include information already provided in the original application or any information that does not directly address the missing information identified in this deficiency notice. Such information will not be reviewed or scored.
Should supporting documentation be included with the Supplemental Response for a given exhibit?
Each Supplemental Response should be a single file and should include any supporting documentation and responses on all deficient measures.
Are there page limitations that specifically apply to Supplemental Responses?