Cannabis businesses in Illinois have begun selling recreational cannabis. It is a hit! The Chicago Sun-Times reports that revenue during the first five days of legal sales totaled $10.8 million worth of pot products. Illinois is the “Capital of the Midwest” and is expected to become a major player in both the recreational and medical marijuana markets in North America. The state already boasts a few prominent cannabis operations including Cresco Labs, Green Thumb Industries, and Tidal Royalty Corp.

As of the start of 2020, there are currently 21 marijuana cultivation centers in the state, and they do not have enough product to supply the incredible demand. Illinois, therefore, is an extremely lucrative opportunity for cannabis business entrepreneurs. 

By the middle of 2020, Illinois will begin granting additional licenses to cultivators, dispensaries and processors. Up to 295 licenses could be in operation by 2022. If you are interested in being one of these license holders, now is the time to start preparing your business plan and reading up on the process. 

Below are all the resources you will need to understand the Illinois cannabis regulations, and links to further information that will ensure a successful application. 

Illinois Cannabis Licence Application Requirements 

Applying for a license means collecting together financial and personal information, as well as creating a detailed business plan. For more information on specific business types and the requirements for each, read over the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, here. Certain provisions will apply only to dispensaries or cultivators. Below is a basic list of the information that you’ll need for the application: 

  • Fingerprint and background check
  • Full tax returns from previous years
  • Full disclosure of financial status including past bankruptcies, loan defaults, child support or alimony payments
  • Ownership structure including an organizational chart
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Operating agreements or partnership agreement
  • Agreements for profit/ loss sharing
  • Operating plans
  • Security plans
  • Inventory and tracking plans 
  • Zoning of the proposed location

Adding additional information could improve your chances of being awarded a permit: 

  • Being a Certified woman-or- minority-owned business
  • Plans for environmental-friendly operations
  • Plans for facilitating medical cannabis research
  • Corporate Social Responsibility plans
  • Plans to combat substance abuse
  • Employee-friendly policies

Software and Service Resources for the Application Requirements  

Every business needs software to operate effectively. Additionally, seed-to-sale, point-of-sale, and legal contracts are a required part of the application. Examples of essential software include: 

All cannabis operations in Illinois are required to implement a seed-to-sale tracking system to monitor cultivation, testing, distribution, and sales. The state has chosen BioTrackTHC as its tracking platform. If you have any questions about the software in these categories or would like further comparison information, set up a demo with one of the CUE Team. 

Illinois Cultivation Applications and Licensing

If you intend to start a cultivation operation in Illinois, below are a few important resources to help you get started with your research: 

Illinois Dispensary Licensing and Application 

Applying for a dispensary license requires funds. Ensure your business has the right amount of liquid assets to finance the process. In addition, there is a non-refundable application fee of $5,000, as well as permitting fees and permit renewals. Don’t let this put you off! Owning a cannabis business can be lucrative. Below are a few of the forms you’ll need to start the application process.

Know your Regulatory Agencies

Regulation is one constant in the world of cannabis, so it is important to know who you are dealing with and which agencies to contact for more information. The three most important agencies in the Illinois Cannabis world are: 

The Illinois Department of Public Health — Responsible for the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry program.