Navigating the Illinois Conditional Dispensing License Process
The Illinois Conditional Dispensing License process is tricky. This article will discuss the next steps after receiving conditional approval. Specifically, approval from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Services (IDFPR). The expert cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 outline steps from conditional approval through final approval.
As stated in the rules and regulations, applicants that have not already identified real estate, have 180 days to do so. First, the Department needs to inspect the new location prior to the authorization to build. Second, the Department will then verify that the layout promotes the safe dispensing of cannabis. Third, they verify that the location is sufficient in size. Fourth, they verify sufficient power allocation, lighting, parking, and handicapped-accessible parking spaces. Last, the Department verifies accessible entry and exits as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Then the Department verifies that the site is suitable for public access, product handling, and storage. After all of this, the Illinois Conditional Dispensing License can move forward with the next steps.
Selling Illinois Recreational Dispensary Licenses Questions & Answers
Is selling an Adult Use New Dispensary Organization license legal? Yes, new dispensing organizations may transfer a license but only with Department Approval. Once the applicant receives the Illinois Conditional Dispensing License, start the sale process immediately. Quantum 9 suggests using CannabisMLS.
How much are Illinois Adult Use New Dispensary Organization Licenses Worth? Speculatively, depending on location $2-$25M. Illinois Recreational Dispensary licensing in the Chicago BLS District is worth the most and closer to the top end of that projection.
In the event there are changes to any Principal Officer within the company, the Department requires this information to be communicated within five (5) days of the change. Any changes during the application period are also subject to this communication.
Changes that require disclosure to the Department include but are not limited to:
- Change in ownership or control;
- Changes of the primary or secondary contact information;
- Any changes in hours of operation; and
- Principal place of the business address change.
Similarly, all changes need to require updating in writing to the Department.
180 Day Extension
Once the Applicant receives Illinois Conditional Dispensing License approval the 180 days starts. However, if the Applicant is unable to find a location within the 180 allotted days, the Applicant can apply for an additional 180 days, only if the Applicant demonstrates a concrete attempt to secure a location and a hardship. However, if the Applicant is unable to find a new location within the 360 days, the conditional approval will be rescinded. As a result, the next highest score, within that BLS District, will be awarded pre-approval and the 180 days starts upon notification.
A link to the regulations, (410 ILCS 705/) Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act: Here
Dispensary Application Deficiency
Prior to obtaining the Illinois Conditional Dispensing License applicants must fix missing information. In the event you are still in the review process, the following link will take you to the article we previously wrote called How to Respond to an Illinois Dispensary Application Deficiency. Here
Steps to from Illinois Conditional Dispensing License to Final Approval
- Respond to the Department approval;
- Engage Real Estate Agent (if the property has not yet been identified);
- Inform Department of Retail Property Acquisition;
- Provide a statement of reasonable assurance location is not a detrimental impact on the community;
Provide evidence that the new location is at least 1,500 feet from exiting dispensary;
- Department Inspection of New Location;
- Engage Recruiter – Create job posting for required positions i.e. budtenders, front desk, inventory and compliance leads, general manager;
- Find Project Manager – Create Project Plan;
- Employ Architect – Design retail space (interior and exterior);
- Hire General Contractor;
- Retain Engineer (Civil, Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical);
- Identify fixtures (Determine lead times on equipment);
- Meet with City Planning, Fire and Safety – Determine if a variance is required (Parking/ Traffic);
- Engage Security Vendor – Order security equipment and vault;
- Submit for a Sign Permit;
- Obtain Several Bank Accounts;
- Obtain a Building Permit;
- Engage Marketing/ Graphic Designer (Update/ Create Website, Create Brochures, Marketing Materials, Social Media, and Email Correspondence;
- Obtain a Business License;
- Purchase Insurance (if not done so already);
- Secure Escrow or Surety Account, Surety Bond;
- Order ATM Machine;
- Engage Rubbish Vendor;
- Identify Snow Removal and Landscaping Vendor (if applicable); and
- Sign Point of Sale Contract.
- Technology Installation;
- Security Installation;
- City Inspection;
- Department Inspection – Verify that the site, proposed operations, and in compliance with the Act and local zoning laws;
- Obtain Certificate of Occupancy;
- Pay $60,000 registration fee. ($30,000 for Social Equity Applicants);
- Take required Dispensary Agent Training for all Agents (Responsible Vendor Program);
- Apply for and Obtain Agent Identification Cards;
- Agent(s) submit fingerprints, then Department performs background checks to all-new Agents;
- Refile Table of Organization, Ownership, and Control document to the Department if changes were made; then
- Store Opens.
- Refine visitor experience.
Illinois Conditional Dispensing License Process Conclusion
Based on the many dispensary locations Quantum 9 has opened over the last ten years we offer the following suggestions.
- Firstly, do a soft open before the Grand Opening to work the kinks out;
- Secondly, market the grand opening, with radio, print, and social media; and
- Lastly, make sure all hands are on deck and you have experienced personnel or consultants onsite.
In conclusion, the biggest areas of issue usually involve technology for the Illinois Conditional Dispensing License Process. For example, using the seed to sale system in real-time may intimidate new users. In addition, make sure the Dispensary Agents are qualified and are comfortable with the software. After any change from your application, this is considered a material change. Applicants are required to update any new information that has changed in the application within 5 days. Once the Applicant receives Illinois Conditional Dispensing License call Quantum 9 at 888-716-0404.