Illinois Craft Grower Consulting
Looking for Illinois Craft Grower Consulting? Are you looking for the best cannabis consulting firm to work with in the state? Look no further. Quantum 9 is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
We have worked in the cannabis licensing space since 2012. Also, we were part of the rulemaking for HB001 (the first medical cannabis bill in the state). This article was written by the marijuana consulting experts at Quantum 9.
I wrote this article to help those looking to acquire a license. Those that are looking for an Illinois Craft Grower Consulting firm for the second round, specifically. To recall, 40 licenses were available in the first round (as of today 21 have been awarded). Consequently, the second round will allow for 60 licenses.
To be clear, the application fees are $5,000 to submit and $40,000 if the license is won. These fees are cut in half for Social Equity Applicants which I will explain further in this article. The second wave of licensing was to be completed by December 21, 2020. In other words, the Department of Agriculture intended to grade and hand the licenses out by this time. However, due to the pandemic, timelines have been shifted. As of today, no new craft grower, dispensary, nor infuser licenses have been awarded. Read more about the Executive Order, here. It was originally intended for licenses to be awarded by July 1, 2020.
For those putting together an application, below I list the most important websites that you should know.
Most Important Sites
Department of Agriculture Site | Here
Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) | Here
Program Regulations | Here (Craft Grower Rules start on Page 790)
Sections | Here
Current Early Craft Grower License Holders | Here
Social Equity Program Overview and Interactive Map | Here
IDFPR Questions and Answers – R1 | Here
IDFPR Questions and Answers – R2 | Here
Sample Table of Organization, Ownership and Control | Here
Before we get into how to win a craft grower license, here is one of Quantum 9’s Illinois Cannabis Consultants describing what the craft grower license will allow you to do:
How to Win an Illinois Craft Grower License
The following section will give applicants five important steps to Win an Illinois Craft Grower License.
Step 1: Focus on recruiting an Illinois resident veteran minority social equity applicant that will hold 51% equity in the company.
For the first round of craft grower licensing, the top score for an application was 1000 (in addition to 6 bonus points). By fulfilling this step alone, you automatically start with 310 points. The point breakdown is as follows:
- 200 points for Social Equity Applicant;
- 90 points for an Illinois Residency; and
- 20 points for veteran status.
In contrast, if you are unable to fulfill this step, you immediately disqualify yourself from 310 points of the total 1000 points (~30% disadvantage).
Step 2: Secure Real Estate
Importantly, you must make sure the property is owned by an individual and not a bank. The application requires the landowner to sign disclosures. If there is a mortgage on the building, a bank is not likely to sign off on a building that his breaking federal law.
Step 3: Recruit a team of experts
We highly recommend recruiting a team of experts, including a cultivation director, extraction & infusion director, security director, operating partner, and cannabis consulting firm.
An Illinois cannabis consulting firm such as Quantum 9 can help project manage your entire application from start to finish.
Step 4: Local approval from the city (might be an exhibit)
Previously, in the first round of licensing, the Department required that applicants obtain a “Notice of Proper Zoning”. Were confident you will have to do the same for the second round. In short, the Notice of Proper zoning is approval from the local government to open a Craft Grower business in their jurisdiction.
Step 5: Find a Compliant Security firm that meets the requirements (check regs)
As an industry expert, I suggest you find a local security firm that is capable of meeting all of the regulatory requirements of a cannabis operation. By engaging a local firm, you also show your commitment for community impact, which is another significant aspect of the Illinois Craft Grower application.
Step 6: Make sure you understand the Principal Officer requirements
During the first round of craft grower licensing, our cannabis consultants found that applicants often found it difficult to fill out the principal officer forms correctly. Additionally, many of our clients had a difficult time collecting the necessary documentation required from Principal Officers. I suggest you begin the process of collecting Principal Officer information and documentation as early in the process as possible.
Step 7: Write Winning Narratives for an operational plan (only unlimited section)
As the final step, and perhaps the most important, you have to submit a narrative that proves your ability to operate a safe and compliant craft grower business. For example, you have to document in detail your business, financial, security, and operational plan that you will implement upon being awarded a license.
For this reason, you should engage our Illinois cannabis firm for expert help in submitting the most competitive application for a craft grower license.
To speak with someone from our cannabis consulting team, feel free to reach out here.