Illinois issues 149 new recreational marijuana dispensary licenses


Illinois issued 149 new recreational marijuana dispensary licenses Friday, marking a long-awaited advancement in the state’s efforts to expand and diversity the industry.

But due to the time it takes to start such a business, many of the stores may not open until next year.

Most of the new cannabis retail stores are planned for the Chicago metropolitan area, and will more than double the current 110 medical and recreational shops. Among the new licensees, 41% are majority Black-owned, 7% majority white-owned and 4% majority Latino-owned, while 38% did not disclose the race of their owners.

Up until now, the ownership of pot businesses in the state has been almost exclusively male and white.

Ambrose Jackson, CEO of Parkway Dispensary in Danville, said he was relieved to finally get notice of the license.

Daywatch

Daywatch

Weekdays

Start each day with Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said, “It hasn’t quite set in, because we’ve been in this holding pattern for two years. It’s a major deal.”

His team, The 1937 Group, will decide soon whether to operate in an existing building, which could take three months to convert, or whether to construct from the ground up, which could take at least six months.

The new licenses are “conditional,” meaning that the licensees must meet various requirements before being issued their final licenses to open for business.

The businesses have 180 days to select a location and begin operations, and may ask for another 180-day extension if necessary. Another 36 dispensary licenses around the state are scheduled to be issued in August.

Many of the licenses had been delayed more than two years due to coronavirus disruptions, problems with the application scoring process, and court orders delaying licensing while lawsuits challenge the process.

The delays cost many business owners tens of thousands of dollars in lost rent or land acquisition costs. Startups found it difficult to get financing while the licenses were in limbo, and some will likely sell to larger corporate chains as part of the ongoing consolidation of the growing industry, which is nearing $2 billion in annual sales in Illinois.

Social equity licensees, generally defined as those from poor neighborhoods or areas with a high rate of cannabis arrests, may qualify for low-interest loans through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The first round of businesses are expected to finalize loan agreements with the state’s partner lending institutions in the coming weeks.


Source : https://www.chicagotribune.com/marijuana/illinois/ct-illinois-marijuana-149-new-dispensary-licenses-issued-20220722-vmf5hcbxsjfrlpja5uufcdebl4-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/news/

Leave a Comment

x
SMM Panel PDF Kitap indir