Opening a Dispensary in Illinois
Illinois enacted a bill in 2013 to create a temporary medical cannabis program under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. The goal of this initiative was to expand health treatment options for qualifying patients within the state who have yet to experience adequate relief using common methods. Under HB 1, there are 35 qualifying conditions specified, but chronic pain is not included. The legislation is not finalized; there’s a clause that states that Illinois will have to pass a new version or extend it by the end of 2018. The finalized regulation may affect everything from how much a patient may possess or purchase at a given time, to the hours a medical cannabis dispensary may be open.
The State of Illinois Cannabis Market
Currently, there are 54 active cannabis businesses in Illinois with over 39,700 qualifying patients and 1,500 others who are yet to be approved. Cannabis laws in Illinois allow for the licensing of one dispensary in the 22 districts. So far, there are 17 cultivation centers. The Illinois medical cannabis market offers a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs. The revenue is estimated to be more than $225 million in both dry flower sales and concentrates/infused products per year.
The state law has provisions for up to 60 cannabis dispensaries in Illinois on the condition that there are sufficient geographically dispersed and qualified applicants. Patients can obtain up to five ounces of cannabis every month; failure to which they may be subject to fines and criminal penalties. The price per ounce is expected to be around $320.
Owner and License Requirements
A lot of money, paperwork, and time must be put down to open up an Illinois cannabis dispensary. The requirements for prospective business owners are strict. Applicants are expected to undergo mandatory fingerprints background check, child support or alimony, defaults on student loans, the disclosure of any past bankruptcy, and they must release full tax returns from previous years. The costs associated with the application include a $5,000 non-refundable fee for a dispensary permit, a $30,000 permit fee for the first year, and a $100,000 annual permit renewal. In addition, applicants are required to demonstrate $50,000 in escrow and $400,000 in liquid assets.
American Cannabis Company, Inc.
Cannabis laws in Illinois are still in flux, and with expensive application fees and processes, it’s essential to work with a cannabis consulting company to avoid the many pitfalls. At American Cannabis Company, we have extensive experience necessary in preparing plans and applications for permits and licenses. In fact, American Cannabis Company was able to secure a license in Illinois in the summer of 2014. Contact us today to learn more about Illinois cannabis growing laws and how to open a dispensary in Illinois.