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Keyword: Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting

The deadline to submit for a dispensary license in Illinois will likely be around the end of Q3 or Q4 2020. Are you ready? This article was written by the dispensary team of Quantum 9 that specialize in the Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting space. The article will give you all the most important aspects of the submission process and how to garner the most points. Quantum 9 has an incredible background in not only winning licenses but also scoring the highest in the state. We took the highest Grower/ Processor scores in Pennsylvania two rounds in a row, and we took the top two highest scores in Arkansas for the vertically integrated licenses. Quantum 9 also took fourth in the Maryland Processor licenses as well as other impressive wins.

Here is a great article we wrote to give you a high-level understanding of the Illinois Adult-Use market.

Here is a recent article we wrote about the lessons we learned in the first licensing round.

Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting

First and foremost, the most important link for anyone submission is a link to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Services Cannabis found here. We base most of our Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting on the rules and regulations found in the link prior.

The application process is pretty difficult compared to some other states since there are two forms, one for the applying company and one for the owners. Scoring the max of the 250 points is the challenging part. We outline how to get the most points out of the 250 points below, but let’s get the most important information out of the way first. You can engage the team at Quantum 9 to aid in the submission process, the expert Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting team will aid your submission from soup to nuts.

Most Important Links

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Services Cannabis website found: here

Here is a link to the Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Application: Here (Updated October 11, 2019)

Here is a link to the form each Principal Officer needs to fill out: Here

Rules and Regulations: Here

BLS Region Map: Here

Map of Disproportionately Impacted Areas: Here

FAQs: Here

Most Common and Important Questions 

What’s the fee structure for a new dispensing organization license?

For the Non-Social Equity Applicants, expect to pay a $5,000 for the application fee. When awarded, the fee for the new Dispensing Organization License will be $60,000 for the license for two-years.

The Social Equity Applicants get a 50% discount and are only required to pay a $2,500 for the application fee. If they get awarded a license, they get another 50% discount on the licensing fee for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License at $30,000 for license that is good for a two-year period.

Where will the licenses be located?

Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting

What municipalities have Opted into recreational cannabis?

We have provided a link to an *ABC article that outlines the municipalities opted into recreational cannabis. ABC Article: Here

*Disclaimer – Municipalities are opting in and out all the time, the ABC article seems to be updated regularly. Don’t hate us if ABC isn’t updating their article.

When will the application be due?

All applications for dispensaries are due by 12:00 p.m. on January 2, 2020, after that period, you will not be able to submit for a dispensary license.  

When will licenses be awarded?

The first 75 dispensary licenses will be granted on May 1, 2020. The following, 110 permits for wave 2, will be awarded on December 21, 2021. In total, there are 185 licenses up for grabs, and the submission is due January 2.

How is scoring done?

The IDFPR will rank applicants using the following scale:

  • Employee Training Plan (15 points)
  • Record-Keeping and Security Plan (65 points)
  • Operating Plan, Business Plan, Financials, and Floor Plan (65 points)
  • Cannabis or Related Fields Knowledge and Experience (30 points)
  • Social Equity Applicant Status (50 points)
  • Employment and Labor Practices (5 points)
  • Plan to save the Environment (5 points)
  • Being an Illinois Owner (5 points)
  • Veteran Status (5 points)
  • Plan for Diversity (5 points)

Total: 250 points plus 2 Extra Credit Points = 252 Points

To find out if you or an applicant are eligible for participation in the Illinois Adult-Use Social Equity Program, check out this map of Disproportionately Impacted Areas. 

How to Score the Highest 

The Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 have outlined a roadmap that will help you score the highest.

Step 1

Find investors. You will need to cover all the application submission costs, costs for permit acquisition, and operational capital after selected. Capital is king, and if you don’t have it, then it will be hard to win a license.

The Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 suggests having at least $1M-$2M liquid in the account of the applicant and contingent promissory notes for an additional $1M-$3M. You might not need all of that capital, but to play ball in the cannabis industry, you have to show incredible financial strength to score high in the financial section.

There are no page restrictions for this section, so take that as a cue that this is very important. For example, typical Clients of Quantum 9 spend between $400k-$1M on at-risk pursuit capital to win a license that will be worth between $10M-$30M upon being awarded. The Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 suggests creating a pro forma, documenting a financial plan, and having liquid assets should get (20 points)

Step 2

Have 100% ownership with Illinois resident(s) and at least 51% owned by a veteran minority that applies for social equity status and minority/ veteran status. In addition, you will garner all 50 points for social equity, the 5 points for veteran status, potentially 5 points for the diversity plan, and 7 points for an Illinois owner. Each of these aspects requires documentation, especially the diversity plan. Taking this approach, however, you have already set the company up to garner (67 points) out of the 250 points. 

An applicant may also qualify for social equity status if they reside in a disproportionately impacted area. To see if you are eligible for participation in the Illinois Adult-Use Social Equity Program, take a look at this map.

Step 3

Execute a Labor Peace Agreement (2 Points Extra). The Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 suggests you should also get employment agreements. For instance, you want to draft agreements for each employee/principal/key employee with a generous compensation plan with amazing benefits. After that, you should be able to garner points in the labor and employment practices section for up to (7 points).  This was in the original overview but is no longer stated that this extra created.

Step 4

Identify real estate in a municipality that will accept adult-use locations in their local ordinance. Although it clearly states that you don’t have to have real estate in the application, The Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 highly suggest that you do. In other words, you should create a floor plan with stamped architectural designs. Firstly, the state wants you to move quickly upon being awarded. Secondly, If you already have the real estate and the architectural designs, you will be able to get your Certificate of Occupancy fast. Lastly, this will help garner more points on the floor plan and the business plan. By doing this, you should expect to get (15 Points). 

Step 5

Above all, engage a cannabis consultant to create your Exhibits and aid in filling out the I-AUDOL.pdf and F2379po.pdf applications. In addition, the state requires you to develop plans for most of the Exhibits with page restrictions. However, the Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting Experts at Quantum9 estimate you are looking at 200-600 pages of documentation. Lastly, by having these plans done professionally, we are confident that you will garner the remaining (158 Points)

Exhibits Overview (Illinois Dispensary Cannabis Consulting)

  • A – Photocopy of the Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • B – Principal Officer Application Form(s)
  • C – Business Entity Operating Agreement, By-Laws, or Articles of Incorporation and Table of Organization, Ownership, and Control
  • D – Dispensing Organization Agent Training and Education
  • E – Purchaser Education Plan
  • F – Business Plan
  • G – Recalls, Quarantine, and Destruction Plan
  • H – Security Plan
  • I – Inventory Monitoring and Recordkeeping Plan
  • J – Proposed Floor Plan
  • K – Operating Plan
  • L – Plan for Community Engagement
  • M – Diversity Plan
  • N – Anonymous Knowledge and Experience of Principal Officers
  • O – Financial Information
  • P – Evidence of Status as a Social Equity Applicant, if applying as a Social Equity Applicant
  • Q – Labor and Employment Practices Plan (optional)
  • R – Environmental Plan (optional)
  • S – Evidence of Status as an Illinois Owner (optional)
  • T – Evidence of Status as a Veteran (optional)

In Conclusion

In conclusion, for help with your applications, please visit the following link to learn more about The Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Consulting Experts at Quantum 9 services.

Please feel free to contact us here

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Michael Mayes

About Michael Mayes

Michael Mayes is the founder and CEO of Quantum 9, Inc., a Chicago, IL-based cannabis consulting firm. We specialize in getting high net worth individuals and private equity cannabis business licenses to cultivate, manufacture and dispense marijuana. We have over 50 marijuana consultants that work for the company, and we have practiced in 12 countries. Our areas of expertise include permit acquisition, team building, employee training planning, and process planning. We help clients fully maximize the potential of any cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary business.

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