ICCA Encourages Issuance of Overdue Craft Grower, Infuser, and Transportation Licenses
The Illinois Craft Cannabis Association (ICCA) welcomes the State of Illinois’ progress on awarding Adult-Use Cannabis licenses.
Our members encourage the State to issue the overdue cannabis craft grower, infuser, and transporter licenses without further delay. We support a transparent, fair and timely process and believe the overwhelming benefits of these licenses to Illinois patients and consumers, and the mounting costs of the delays for social equity applicants, must be at the forefront of the State’s actions.
The availability of affordable, quality products is essential for Illinois patients and consumers. The continued delay of the craft grower, infuser, and transporter licenses contributes to the serious shortage of products and higher the prices patients and consumers have to pay across the State.
The delays are also causing real harm to social equity applicants that are bleeding cash and are struggling to retain their property, zoning, and staff. These applicants include the future 40 licensees, but also include more than 400 applications that will not receive a license but are continuing to invest significant time and money. The ICCA community includes social equity applicants that are suffering that have:
invested $40,000 of their own and friends & family money to secure a property and have been paying $10,000 per month - totaling more than $100,000 - to hold it for a facility they may, or may not ever, build;
conditional zoning approval that required months of effort that will expire and may not be renewable; and
built, hired, and trained a team spending $20,000 per month, totaling more than $120,000, that are ready to begin operations but team members are questioning whether they can afford to continue with the delays.
From our survey, a majority of applicants are at risk of losing their property, zoning, or members of their team in October through no fault of their own. The expectation that they continue to invest, throwing ‘good after bad’, because of the State’s delays is unreasonable. If the State does not immediately issue licenses, relief must be provided to applicants.
The craft grower, infuser, or transporter licenses are being issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, a different department, with a different process, and with different rules from the pending dispensary licenses. There has been no justification provided by the State for the continued delays or for the rationale to withhold these licenses until after the dispensary license awards.
ICCA, on behalf of the community of applicants, asks that the State immediately issue licenses to inform both successful and unsuccessful applicants, to allow craft growing, processing, and transport to begin in earnest, and to bring the awards into the sunlight to end speculation about the integrity of this process.