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Illinois Delays Issuing New Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


Illinois regulators announced April 29 that they will delay issuing new adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation planned to award 75 new adult-use dispensary licenses May 1, but will now wait until the governor’s disaster proclamations expires, the news outlet reported. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign a new order in the coming days to extend the proclamation through May 30, according to the Chicago Tribune.

More than 700 applicants, including many social equity applicants, applied for the 75 available licenses, the news outlet reported. Applications were due Jan. 1, and the licensing round aimed to provide new business operators access to Illinois’ adult-use industry, according to the Chicago Tribune. (Only existing cannabis businesses were able to serve the state’s adult-use market when it launched Jan. 1.)

Once the new licenses are issued, licensees will have 180 days to secure a location for their dispensaries, the news outlet reported, and the state must then inspect the facility before giving the retailers final approval to open.

Illinois has also extended the deadline for cannabis infuser, craft grower and transporter licenses to April 30 due to the pandemic, with plans to award the licenses by July 1.