Hey all, here’s the latest and greatest… As you well know by now, starting in January 2020, the use of recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois. Thinking about jumping in? Want to give it a shot, do you want an Illinois cannabis license? Here’s what to know.
Are you one of the many that’s pumped to get in on this gold rush, or green rush as it were? Well, if you are, before you do, so, there’s a lot of details to be aware of. While it can be done, it’s a fairly complicated process that you want to make sure you do correctly, as you would when starting any sort of new business.
That said, when starting a cannabis business, there are even MORE hoops to jump through and rules and regs you want to make sure you follow. Compliance is the keyword here.
So. You want to apply for a license to do business in cannabis in Illinois. Like we said, there’s a lot involved and to make sure you’re doing right. Have everything ready.
First of all, narrow down what it is that you really want to do, because you won’t be able to do it all. At least initially. Do you want to start a farm? A dispensary? There’s Consult all of the new laws involved. Here’s a few things to know off the bat:
Starting in 2020, Illinois residents will have the option to do four things: Open a dispensary, become a grower, processor or transporter.
According to the legislation that we have linked to below, a license will cost $5,000.
Not only that, but each type of venture will require a specific license. You’ll probably have to wait months to apply for one as the whole program rolls out. There’s one exception to the rule, however. If you’re an established business, you can start right away. So there’s good news there if you’re already in business.
So, starting January 1, existing medical cannabis businesses can sell and grow marijuana for recreational purposes, and apply for a recreational store.
However, as we said, that does not apply to everyone else. Applications for craft growers open on January 7. Not too bad, but still something to be aware of in your planning.
On March 15, the State of Illinois will begin accepting and processing license applications.
On July 1st, the first batch of licenses will be issued to (roughly) 40 growers.
None of this is awful news, but again, something to be aware of as you plan. Most small business owners, and that include cannabis entrepreneurs, will most likely be bootstrapping. That is, they will be funding their own ventures. Not a lot of these businesses will be coming out of the gate with loads of cash, so careful how you spend your precious, limited resources. It can become a burn quickly. Trust us, we know.
So, even though Illinois residents can’t apply right now for licenses, there is still a lot to prepare for – take it very seriously.
You can find more information about starting your own cannabis business here, including deadlines for applications/licenses. Cheers!