6/1/2022 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

6/1/2022 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

June 1, 2022

The Illinois Cannabis Business Association welcomes the action by a Cook County judge lifting the legal hold on issuing cannabis dispensary licenses to 185 social equity applicants. While we are pleased with this development, we are disappointed in the decision of the administration to hold these conditional licenses until further guidance is given in the federal residency case, as each delay continues to harm those waiting to enter the industry.

The applicants have put their careers and livelihood on hold in anticipation of these awards, including taking on daunting financial risks to pursue a promise made by the state when the cannabis equity legislation was passed in 2019.

The state must do more to implement policies that provide greater ownership opportunities for minority cannabis entrepreneurs, including set-aside licenses, innovative incubation and co-location programs, and legislation that addresses the challenges for diverse businesses.

The court’s action, and the state’s swift follow up, are both necessary to address ongoing inequities in the licensing process as well as to answer the growing demand for safe recreational cannabis products from consumers across Illinois.

This will allow our industry to become, as anticipated when the law passed, an evolving, growing, thriving industry, instead of the stop and go process that has hindered its true potential.

We are heartened by the court’s action and look forward to celebrating the arrival of these new businesses into the Illinois market.

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8/2/2021 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

Date: Aug. 2, 2021

STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois congratulates the state’s newest cannabis licensees and is excited to welcome them into the marketplace.

CBAI also welcomes the decision announced Monday by the Pritzker Administration to award as many as 60 additional craft grower and 60 additional infuser licenses to current social equity applicants. Many of these applicants have been waiting for more than a year for the process to play out, and this decision means they will be considered for these additional opportunities without going through the time or expense of re-applying.

Together, these actions are in line with the intent of the Illinois General Assembly to bring fairness, diversity and equity to the industry.

CBAI will continue to advocate for fast, fair administrative action, regulatory changes that support the industry, continued support for medical patients and amendments to the law that support all cannabis entrepreneurs.

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7/29/2021 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS ON THE FIRST DISPENSARY LICENSE LOTTERY 7/29/2021

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois welcomes today’s action by the State of Illinois to conduct the first of three lotteries and move forward to award social equity licenses. These applicants have put their lives on hold for more than a year as this process played out, and we’re excited to finally welcome these new businesses into the industry.

CBAI will continue to advocate for fast, fair administrative action, regulatory changes that support the industry, continued support for medical patients and amendments to the law that support all cannabis entrepreneurs.

Social equity applicants who were not awarded a license this round are encouraged to check out CBAI’s Minority Business Associate Membership program at cbail.org/mbam to apply for free membership to the association.

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7/23/2021 IMPORTANT: Updates announced from the CROO

The following important updates were just announced from the Cannabis Regulatory Oversight Office (CROO) regarding:

  • Craft Grow, Infuser and Transportation
  • Adult-Use Dispensary Lottery Dates
  • Community College Curricula
  • Social Equity Cannabis Technical Assistance and Loan Program

 

Legislative Update

Under the CRTA, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is permitted to issue 75 conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses. HB 1443, which was introduced by Representative LaShawn Ford and Leader Kimberly Lightford and supported by the administration, expands opportunities by creating two new lotteries:

  • A social equity justice-involved lottery for 55 additional licenses to be awarded to:
    • those who have received a score of at least 85% on their application, or 213 out of a total of 250 possible points; and
    • live in a disproportionately impacted area, has an eligible cannabis conviction, or has a family member with an eligible cannabis conviction;
  • A lottery for an additional 55 licenses for applicants who had a score of at least 85% on their application. In total, 185 dispensary licenses will be determined through the lottery process.

HB 1443 is effective immediately.

Related Attachments: HB1443 One-Pager |General Licensing One-Pager

 

Craft Grow, Infuser and Transportation

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), which is responsible for the licensing process for craft grow, infuser, and transporter licenses, issued notifications to applicants who are eligible to receive one of 213 total licenses: 40 craft grow, 32 infuser, and 141 transporter. Craft grow and infuser applicants have 10 business days to respond to the notification confirming their interest in receiving a license and to submit the required fee and documents. Transporter applicants have until February 2022 to confirm their interest in receiving a license.

Related Attachments: IDOA licensing process | IDOA Demographic Information

 

 

Adult-Use Dispensary Lottery Dates

The Illinois State Lottery will conduct a total of three lotteries for adult-use dispensary license applicants this year. The lotteries will be held on:

  • July 29th: the lottery for qualifying applicants who received who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points will be held for the 55 licenses in that category.
  • August 5th: the lottery for social equity justice-involved applicants who received a score of at least 85% of the 250 application points and are located in a disproportionately impacted area or have an eligible conviction will be held for the 55 available licenses in that category.
  • August 19th: the final lottery will be held for top scoring, tied applicants for the original 75 licenses outlined in the CRTA.

Lotteries for all cannabis-related licenses, as it is for all other lotteries, will be a completely blind process managed by the Illinois State Lottery. All draws will be automated via a computer program and the Lottery will run multiple quality assurance checks before delivering the final results of each lottery to Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The results of each lottery will be available by 5 p.m. on the day of the draws.

Related Attachments: Lottery One-Pager |IDFPR Pre-Lottery Checklist

 

Community College Curricula

The Cannabis Community College Vocational Pilot Program grants eligible higher education institutions the ability to develop a curriculum to train a new generation of cannabis industry professionals and leaders. Seven inaugural recipients of the license as well as plans to announce additional licenses soon. The community college license recipients are: Kishwaukee College, Oakton College, Olive-Harvey College, Shawnee Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College, and Wilbur Wright College.

This innovative program offers students a path to achieving a Career in Cannabis Certificate which includes the ability to work with, study, and grow live cannabis plants to prepare for a career in the legal cannabis industry and instruction in the legal compliance of the cannabis business industry, among other topics. The program is a vital part of the growing cannabis industry in Illinois and will provide a path to the thousands of new jobs being created right here in Illinois for community college graduates in communities around the state.

 

Social Equity Cannabis Technical Assistance and Loan Program

Social Equity Applicants are eligible for ongoing, free technical assistance through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO): https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CannabisEquity/Pages/TechnicalAssistance.aspx

 

Additionally, DCEO has established the Social Equity Loan (SEL) program to provide financial assistance for social equity licensees, and to help increase access to capital for prospective social equity cannabis entrepreneurs over time.

The SEL program will provide flexible low interest loans to assist with the expenses of starting and operating a cannabis business establishment. Loan terms will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with a general repayment term of over five years. To be eligible for the loan, a cannabis business establishment must receive licensure and meet the qualifications of a social equity applicant. Funding will be prioritized for applicants demonstrating the greatest adverse impact from the failed war on drugs. Licensees offered conditional acceptance into the Loan Program will be referred to lender partners for a full review of the loan application for funding consideration.

To administer the loan program, DCEO is partnering with two lenders, Good Tree Capital and Credit Union 1, who will work alongside the state to provide low-interest loan agreements for qualifying SEA applicants. Loans may be made available up to the following amounts:

  • Transporter: $100,000 
  • Adult-Use Dispensing Organization: $500,000 
  • Infuser: $500,000 
  • Cultivator: $1,000,000 

Through its partnership with lending partners, the State anticipates up to $34 million in loans could be made available in the first year, and the State will work with partners to enhance the loan program to ensure that it is a sustainable source of financial support for the social equity community.

DCEO has launched an application intake portal allowing social equity awardees to submit to the loan program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The intake application is the first step in the loan approval process. Approved applicants will be referred to the participating lenders for loan underwriting. The intake form can be found online here.

 

7/15/2021 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

July 15, 2021

STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois applauds the Governor for signing HB 1443 into law,
moving Illinois forward on fixing the lottery for cannabis licenses. After more than a year of delays that
has seen social equity applicants putting their lives on hold, the State of Illinois can move forward on
conducting the lottery, awarding licenses and creating new business opportunities and jobs.

We also wish to congratulate the seven inaugural recipients of a Cannabis Community College
Vocational Pilot Program license: Kishwaukee College, Oakton College, Olive‐Harvey College, Shawnee
Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College and Wilbur Wright College.

CBAI is excited to welcome new colleagues into the industry and to continue building the most
equitable, inclusive cannabis marketplace in the country.

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7/1/2021 Statement from the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

STATEMENT FROM THE CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

July 1, 2021

July 1 marks yet another dubious milestone for social equity cannabis entrepreneurs.

It was a year ago today that the State of Illinois was to award the next round of manufacturing licenses – the licenses needed by craft growers, infusers and transportation companies. Instead, those applicants, including a spate of qualified social equity entrepreneurs, have been waiting a year to join the cannabis industry.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois (CBAI) is proud of its record on diversity and supports the continued growth of the industry in an inclusive, equitable manner. We were pleased to see the State move forward on a bill that would award the next round of dispensary licenses, but we can’t stop there.

The industry has incubated, coached and advocated on behalf of social equity applicants for more than a year, and it’s time we welcome those businesses into our ranks to create the inclusive marketplace Illinois deserves. We urge the governor to sign the bill and then move forward on awarding all types of cannabis licenses.

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