Cannabis Business Plan in Illinois | Social Equity

More than 700 business entities and individuals have applied for recreational cannabis business licenses in Illinois since legalization. Out of the 700 businesses applications for these licenses, only 75 licenses were granted to 21 applicants. This spread overall disappointment as social equity provisions in Illinois were questionable. Social equity provisions guarantee that members of communities that are most affected by crime and poverty resulting from the war on drugs receive a piece of the legal cannabis business. You must include information about social equity applicants within your cannabis business plan in Illinois.

Take a look at our cannabis consulting services for more information about the application process in Illinois.

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Diversifying Cannabis Businesses in Illinois

Out of the 21 finalists for cannabis business licenses in Illinois, 13 have majority ownership and control by people of color, 17 have at least one owner who is a person of color, and 16 groups include at least one woman owner. These finalists are social equity applicants under Illinois regulations. The Black Caucus wants changes in the application scoring system, point allocation structure, tiebreaker policy, and overall selection process.

Currently, those who qualify as social equity applicants in Illinois receive an extra 50 points on their score. Applicants can achieve social-equity status if:

  • The applicant had lived in an area designated as disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs
  • Secondly, if the applicant or a family member had been arrested or incarcerated for specific cannabis laws
  • Lastly, if the applicant hires at least 10 employees, 51 percent of that lived in a disproportionately impacted area, had been arrested or convicted of a marijuana offense, or had a family member who had.

Also, an additional five points are available to groups with 51 percent ownership by Illinois residents, veterans, and those who filed diversity plans. Additionally, applicants can get another two points by submitting a community impact plan.

If you qualify as a social equity applicant and need additional assistance on your cannabis business plan in Illinois, make sure to contact our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9.

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Ties in Cannabis Business Applications in Illinois

The ties for cannabis business applications were surprising. Our CEO at Quantum 9 is an expert cannabis consultant who works on applications nationwide, including those in Illinois. When interviewed at Crain’s Chicago Business, he stated that he “didn’t expect all of the licenses to be decided by the lottery.”

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Current Cannabis Oppurtunities in Illinois

There will be changes before the next round of cannabis licenses. So far, Illinois has offered more cannabis business licenses for dispensaries and Craft Grow businesses.

The next cannabis license application round in Illinois for adult-use dispensary licenses shall begin early to mid-2022. With that, the department plans to issue at least 50 additional dispensary licenses on or before December 21, 2022.

Hopefully, this will open the doors for more social equity applicants in Illinois.

To find out if you are eligible for participation in the Illinois Adult-Use Social Equity Program, take a look at this map.

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Map of Disproportionately Impacted Areas

A Disproportionately Impacted Area is a census tract or comparable geographic area that satisfies the following requirements by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:

  • The area has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent
  • 75 percent or more of the children in the area participate in the federal free lunch program
  • At least 20 percent of the households in the area receive assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • The area has an average unemployment rate that is more than 120 percent of the national unemployment average
  • Lastly, the area has high rates of arrest conviction and incarceration related to the sale, possession, use, cultivation manufacture, or transport of cannabis

You must meet at least one of the above criteria to qualify as social equity.

Cannabis Consultants in Illinois

Lastly, make sure to contact our cannabis business consultants for more information about the application process in Illinois. We help you with your cannabis business plan so that you can win a license and start a cannabis business.

There are still plenty of opportunities for cannabis businesses in Illinois, talk to us about your cannabis business plan.

More Articles from our Illinois Cannabis Business Consultants:

Check out these additional articles from our cannabis consultants in Illinois:

How to Win Cannabis Licenses in Illinois

Medical Cannabis in Illinois

Natalie Jachymiak

Author Natalie Jachymiak

Natalie is an author and marketing expert who covers topics related to business, policy, and licensing within the cannabis industry. She specializes in content creation, advertising, and public relations. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Communications and Marketing.

More posts by Natalie Jachymiak

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