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If you’re in the industry, you’re likely dying to know who won Illinois adult-use dispensary licenses. Well, 21 applicants are tied with perfect scores.

**This post was originally published in September 2020. As of December 2020, no applicants have received Illinois adult-use dispensary licenses. Quantum 9’s Illinois Cannabis Consultants are eagerly awaiting the results. **

Illinois adult-use dispensary licenses

On September 3, 2020, the state announced the top-scoring applicants in each Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics region (“BLS region”). In short, 21 applicants (out of over 700 applicants) received perfect scores and tied for obtaining adult-use retail licenses. The tied applicants will enter into a lottery tiebreaking process to determine who will receive permits in each BLS region.

All in all, Illinois intends to award 75 adult-use dispensary licenses (formally known as dispensing organization licenses) in this round of licensing.

Given that 21 applicants are tied with perfect scores, the state will award the 75 licenses to only 21 applicants, and this has many questioning the validity of the application scoring.

Two applicants who did not qualify for the lottery have filed lawsuits in federal court. Apparently, the cases were filed to prevent “politically connected” groups from winning the adult-use dispensary licenses.

The name of the applicants who tied for Illinois adult-use dispensary licenses include:

  • 127 IL LLC
  • Alchemy Curations LLC
  • AmeriCanna Dream LLC
  • Black Rain LLC
  • Clean Slate Opco LLC
  • Dealership LLC
  • Deer Park Partners LLC
  • EHR Holdings LLC
  • Fortunate Son Partners LLC
  • Full License Pursuit LLC
  • Green Equity Ventures 1 LLC
  • GRI Holdings LLC
  • Make Peace LLC
  • Mint IL LLC
  • SB IL LLC
  • So Baked Too LL C
  • Suite Greens LLC
  • Terra House LLC
  • TPFB LL
  • V3 Illinois Vending LLC
  • Vertical Management LLC

For those interested, you will find a more detailed breakdown of which applicants tied in specific BLS regions here. Also, you can find details on the tiebreaking process here.

As a result of a concentrated group of applicants receiving all of the licenses, there has been much speculation as to whether the application grading was done fairly.

If you recall, Illinois put a heavy emphasis on the social equity aspect of its adult-use program when Governor J.B. Pritzker passed the adult-use program in 2019. However, as it stands, it seems that the state has deviated from its original intentions of positively impacting those harmed by the war on drugs.

All of the tied applicants “qualify” for social equity status. But are these applicants really socially equity?

Many believe the social equity program “came up short.”

For example, the application fee for an Illinois adult-use dispensary license is $2500 per application. The 21 tied applicants submitted dozens of applications.

How can a social equity status applicant afford to do that? In my humble opinion, a true social equity applicant, which is a person disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, would not have the capital to submit dozens of applications. It just does not make sense.

If we look further into the details, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) provided statistics on the tied applicants:

  • ~81% of the applicants have at least 1 minority owner
  • ~62% of the applicants are majority-owned by minorities
  • ~76% of the applicants have 1 or more female owners
  • ~67% of the applicants have 1 or more owners or employees who have lived in a disproportionately impacted area impacted by cannabis prohibition

While all of the applicants have social equity qualifications, it could be that they were only social equity “on paper.” To learn how our Illinois Cannabis Consultants can help you put together a competitive application, please click the button below to schedule an appointment.

Although we cannot answer the question “Who won Illinois adult-use dispensary licenses?” yet, we shall find out within the next two weeks.

The state is mandated to declare the winners within 10 days of announcing the applicants who are tied. Thus, we should expect to learn of the lottery winners by or on September 13, 2020.

However, given that federal lawsuits have been filed, anything can happen when it comes to awarding licenses. In past licensing rounds across the nation, such as Missouri, Florida, and Maryland, license denials were overturned following lawsuits against the state’s cannabis regulating bodies.

Our team of Illinois cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 specialize in cannabis public policy and permit acquisition. Feel free to reach out to speak with one of our licensing experts.

Julio C. Soriagalvarro, M.S.

About Julio C. Soriagalvarro, M.S.

Julio C. Soriagalvarro is a natural product chemist turned consultant who combines his expertise in the life sciences and business to provide consulting services across the cannabis industry. Additionally, as a Quantum 9 cannabis consultant, he has won cannabis licenses for clients in multiple U.S. States as well as optimized the operations of cannabis businesses across the nation. Julio holds a M.S. in Natural Product Chemistry and Drug Discovery from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University. Also, he is currently a 2nd-year MBA student at Indiana University, focusing on finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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