Saturday, March 28, 2020 – The Illinois Department of Agriculture updated the deadline for the current round of cannabis applications in the state. The deadline, already pushed back to March 30 from the original March 16, has been extended once again to April 30.
The current round of cannabis licenses on the line includes cannabis infusion licenses, transportation licenses, and the coveted craft grow licenses – designed to give smaller-scale cultivators an opportunity to enter the state’s booming cannabis industry.
The original deadline for applications was set for March 16 with applicants initially being required to hand-deliver applications at government offices in Chicago or Springfield. A similar deadline for dispensaries brought over 1200 applicants to downtown Chicago on January 2nd, forcing the governor to extend the deadline by several hours to accommodate the onslaught of applicants.
In the midst of growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, Governor JB Pritzker initially extended the deadline to March 30th, but it appears that the extra two weeks was not enough to compensate for the impact COVID-19 has had on the cannabis industry.
This second deadline extension gives entrepreneurs another month, pushing the deadline to April 30.
The extra time comes as entrepreneurs in the Illinois cannabis industry face unique challenges in submitting timely applications. Obtaining necessary real estate, zoning, and other key components was challenging before, but with increasing lockdown on the state and local level, many would-be applicants have just given up.
It’s worth noting that this decision to extend the deadline likely means the state has received less applications than they were expecting, favorable news for applicants who have the tenacity to stick with the process. With a limited number of 75 craft grow licenses and 40 infusion licenses available, fewer applications means greater chances of winning one of the coveted “golden tickets”.
To maintain appropriate social distancing protocols, applications are now only being accepted by mail. For more details, check out the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website.