|Illinois became the 11th state to legalize adult-use of marijuana when it opened its market on January 1, 2020. It was the first state to legalize adult-use via legislation rather than a ballot initiative and has quickly generated substantial revenue from both in-state and out-of-state customers. Despite announcing a highly-praised social equity program, Illinois has ended up with a less equitable and more consolidated market than most due to to ongoing legal challenges and COVID delays.|
|Legalization Dates:||Medical – August 2013|
Adult-Use – January 1, 2020
|Relevant Legislation:||Cannabis Control Act (1978)|
Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (MCPP) (2013), revised to Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (MCP, Full-Text)
Illinois Industrial Hemp Act of 2018
Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Approved May 31, 2019) – (Summary, Full-Text)
Summary of Illinois Marijuana Laws (COVA)
|Regulatory Bodies:||Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) – Adult-Use Cannabis Program|
Illinois Department of Human Services
Department of Public Health
|Licensing Model:||Limited licensing – The State of Illinois sets a quota in each license category – cultivator, craft grower, transporter, infuser, and retail.|
Cultivation – Prior to adult-use there were 21 approved medical grow facilities and those facilities had first opportunity to obtain adult-use licenses. No new cultivators will be permitted until 2021 at the earliest.
Dispensaries – In Illinois, medical dispensaries are known as “Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers”. As of early 2020 there were 55 medical and 37 adult-use dispensaries in the state (Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune). The city of Chicago has 11 medical dispensaries or and 9 adult-use dispensaries. The awarding of 75 new dispensaries under a social equity plan was delayed due to coronavirus disruptions and is now being challenged in court after only 21 of 700 applicants were deemed qualified for the 75 licenses.
|Example Firms:||Sunnyside (Cresco Labs), Dispensary 33 (first in Chicago), Columbia Care, Green Thumb Industries, Verano Holdings, PharmaCann|
|Industry Associations:||Illinois Cannabis Industry Association (ILCIA, affiliate of the NCIA)|
|Notable Events||August 2018 – Expansion of medical marijuana program to include opioid replacement|
August 2019 – Medical program made permanent and 11 new conditions added
September 2020 – Monthly adult-use sales reached $68M
2022 – The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois launches a data management project with the state cannabis industry.
|Articles||New Court Order Puts Illinois Craft Grow Cannabis Licenses On Hold Again (Cannabis Business Times, June 22, 2022)|
Following months of delays, state again moves forward with new cannabis licensing (Chicago Sun-Times, January 26, 2021)
‘Epic failure’ of Illinois’ legal weed backers in Springfield to keep promises on diversity (Chicago Sun-Times, December 11, 2020)
|As of June 15, 2022|