Illinois is one of the fastest growing cannabis markets in the United States and reported more than $1 billion of recreational cannabis sales in 2021.
The performance of Illinois’ cannabis industry has attracted several of the largest multi-state-operators (MSOs) in the US which has forced us to keep a close eye on how the market evolves from here.
One of the most significant events for Illinois’ cannabis industry is the simplifying of the cannabis license application process and we believe that any significant changes could have a major impact on the industry.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is finalizing the process to simplify the dispensary license application process by removing barriers for social equity applicants and expanding opportunities for communities that have been the most impacted by the war on drugs.
Under the new proposed rules, applicants can apply for a license by providing personal information which should drastically simplify the process. Previously, applicants had to fill out hundreds of pages of information which is challenging for both people and companies. As part of the new rules, IDFPR plans to issue 55 conditional licenses to 17 regions in the state.
From a timing standpoint, we believe IDFPR will start accepting conditional license applications in the back half of the year and will monitor how the process impacts operators that are already capitalizing on Illinois’ cannabis industry.
We expect the granting of additional cannabis licenses to impact the landscape of Illinois’ cannabis industry from a market share standpoint. We believe the impact will reduce the amount of market share that companies have in the state and will work to identify the operators that are most at risk.
We are favorable on the long-term growth prospects that are associated with Illinois’ cannabis industry and believe our readers should know the potential impacts that are associated with the granting of additional cannabis dispensary licenses.