Illinois Cannabis License Solutions

Our experienced team at Cannabis License Experts (CLE) will assist you in obtaining your Illinois cannabis license quickly and with an unrivaled success record. Having to repeat your Illinois cannabis license application procedure can set your business back by months and substantially reduce your earning potential. Book your free consultation today and let us show you how we’ll help you on your path to a Illinois cannabis license and much more.

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Market Potential

Illinois has significant potential to become one of the most lucrative opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs. Considered the “Capitol of the Midwest”, The Prairie State is expected to become a major player in both the recreational cannabis and medical marijuana markets throughout North America. The medical marijuana program began in 2014 and became the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis through legislation under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Recreational cannabis sales are permitted for adults aged 21 and older which officially began on January 1, 2020.

Book a free consultation today to learn more about how Cannabis License Experts can assist you and your team on the path to various types of cannabis licenses in Illinois.

Licensing Requirements, Timelines, and Selection Processes for a Illinois Cannabis License

Applicants looking for a Illinois Cannabis License are required to provide fingerprint background checks, full tax returns for previous years, ownership structure including an organizational chart, and several other components to illustrate operations of the proposed cannabis business. The timeline for licensure remains unclear but from industry estimates, approximately 8-16 months is a reasonable turnaround to receive initial approval from the state. After receiving a conditional Illinois cannabis license, applicants have 180 days from the approval date to identify a location. Premise inspections will occur thereafter to ensure compliance with state and local laws. Initially only 55 medical marijuana dispensaries were permitted. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act provided for an additional 75 legal cannabis licenses in Illinois for recreational cannabis but no licenses have been awarded so far. Also note that there are several limitations on Ownership. Licensing is overseen by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is able to issue up to 60 additional craft grower and up to 60 additional infuser licenses. As of December 21, 2021 the top eligible candidates have been notified to continue the cannabis licensing process. It is unclear when future application rounds will be made available as the state has extended multiple application periods which were defined in the regulations.
Licensing Requirements Illinois Cannabis License

Hear from Our Successful Clients

Some of the World’s Largest Brands have Trusted CLE to Support their Cannabis Journey.

5 Star Google Reviews

Matthew Caton Yield Cannab

Canna License Experts, and their team were retained by our company to help us along the way with a retail canna license. Brian Wolf along with Kalpna Mistry and their team of experts were there the entire way through the process. Thanks again to Brian and Kalpna for all you support from our family at YIELD Cannab Co.

Lin Yan GMLL Pharma

We have contacted a few licensing company before I decided to contact with Canna licensing Experts. So far I think I have made the right choice and I am happy with the work they have done for us. The team answer questions promptly and never leave us alone. Not to mention their charge are reasonable comparing the similar type of consulting company and quality of their job.

Joseph Dow Dow Testing Labs

Brian and Kalpna at Cannabis License Experts were very pleasant, informative, and knowledgeable regarding licensing. They helped us fill out all the forms needed and guided us through the entire process. I am sure that without their guidance our application would still be in process, or have been dismissed because of some missing information.

Financial Requirements New Jersey Cannabis License

Financial Requirements for your New Jersey Cannabis License

Common for most jurisdictions as a mandatory component of the Illinois cannabis license application is the requirement for a minimum amount of liquid cash on hand. This ensures that applicants have the financial wherewithal from the Illinois cannabis licensing process through to the initial 2-5 years of operation. Non-refundable application fees range from $5000 to $60,000, per license. The State of Illinois also has a minimum insurance and/or bond amount, per license.

Illinois Cannabis License Types

All license types, including consumptions lounges and events licensing are listed below.
Total # of Illinois Cannabis Licenses
Illinois Cannabis License Types
Regional Cannabis Markets
Given the relatively rural nature to the state, Chicago represents the most notable area with a concentration of competitive operators.
County population in 2019: 2,693,976
Basic Demographic Information
Resources include the US Census Bureau,, and any additional relevant resources.
Total # of Counties102
Total # of Cities/Towns1,299 incorporated municipalities consisting of cities, towns, and villages

City of Chicago

Median Age
Medial Income
Median Home Price
Fair Market Rent
Business Climate Illinois Cannabis Licensing

Business Climate

Overall, the majority of the state has embraced the formal legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use. While licensing is relatively limited, the process of application renewals for all cannabis operations continues to be moving at a reasonable pace.

According to national organization rankings, Illinois ranks eighth in the nation in business start-up growth and is the largest state to rank in the top ten for growth in the U.S. Specific to the cannabis industry, Illinois reached over 1 billion dollars in sales in 2021 almost doubling the revenue from 2020.

Real Estate & Zoning

In order to ensure geographical dispersion of adult-use cannabis dispensaries, Illinois has divided the available 75 adult-use Illinois retail cannabis licenses among the 17 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Regions. After approval, applicants have 180 days to identify a physical location. Municipalities may pass ordinances prohibiting the establishments of dispensaries in their jurisdictions which include timelines to adopt ‘opt out’ ordinances. Jurisdictions must also enact reasonable zoning restrictions pertaining to licensed cultivation centers, craft growers, processing organizations, and dispensaries with several municipalities that restrict or ban the sale of marijuana.
Real Estate Zoning Illinois retail cannabis licenses

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis cultivation is the process of growing cannabis within a regulated environment for the consumption via a medical or adult-use cannabis program. Generally cultivation refers to the agricultural activities associated with the propagation and growing of cannabis. Cannabis processing is when you manufacture finished cannabis products, packaging of dried flowers or manufacture and package cannabis-based products (i.e. extracts, edibles, and topicals). To be able to produce cannabis and cannabis derived products commercially a specific license is required, requirements depend on the state in which you are locating this business.
Currently Illinois is not accepting applications for craft grower license types, the previous application round for this license type closed in 2020. To get an understanding of future licensing timelines, requirements, and how to prepare, please book a consultation with our team at Cannabis License Experts.
Yes, THC infused edibles can be legally manufactured by licensed cannabis infusers and sold by licensed dispensaries to consumers. Legally an adult over the age of 21 can possess up to 500 mg of THC in the form of edibles.
Under its medical cannabis program Illinois licensed 55 dispensary facilities, during the transition to adult-use legalization Illinois allowed Medical Marijuana Establishments licensed under medical to apply for an additional location as well as early access to the adult-use market. Currently there are 110 dispensaries that received licensing through the Early Approval Adult Use Licensing process. The Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation oversees the licensing and regulation of dispensing organizations, currently they have 130 licensed dispensaries listed on their website.

One-Stop Business Solutions Provider

When you partner with CLE, you are able to leverage our proven knowledge and best industry resources to provide you a complete Cannabis Business Solution.

Don't Know Where To Begin? Get Started Now

Applying for a cannabis license in Illinois and unsure where to start?
Illinois cannabis license applications for new applicants are not currently being accepted however this could change as the state continues to award pending Illinois cannabis licenses in the near future. Cannabis License Experts can help make sure your team is prepared for when this process reopens, please reach out to us today to inquire about business planning for future Illinois cannabis license application rounds.
In order to get started, reach out to one of our regulatory experts today to learn more about Cannabis Business Solutions.
Cannabis License
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