The hundreds of entrepreneurs, investor groups and commercially-minded cannabis enthusiasts hoping to find out if they won one or multiple licenses to open new dispensaries in Illinois will have to wait.
Citing disruptions associated with combating Covid-19, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday afternoon signed an executive order delaying the issuing of 75 new licenses, which were initially scheduled to be revealed today.
According to a statement, “The requirement will be suspended for the duration of the ongoing Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations, or until IDFPR otherwise announces a new date.”
This news comes as a not too surprising buzzkill for applicants and the budding Illinois cannabis ecosystem at large. However, those invested in the process understand the need to delay.
“Many applicants are disappointed with this news,” explains Chicago attorney Scott Redman, who authored the Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis: Knowledge for Principal Officers eBook. “I would rather see the Department take its time, keep its staff safe, and make quality decisions than struggle through a pandemic to meet an otherwise arbitrary deadline at the same time many other business deadlines are being adjusted in the ordinary course.”
Adds Amy Nathan, CEO of Chicago-based Gromentum, an accelerator for early-stage cannabis businesses:
“This delay will allow license winners the chance to find property, get through zoning and put together their capital stack to become fully operational. None of these things are possible while shelter-in-place is the order of the day.”