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Illinois Social Equity Craft Growers Receive First Pre-Construction Permits

Updated: May 25, 2022

On May 18, 2022, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced the first three pre-construction permits for social equity cannabis craft grower license holders. These pre-construction permits allow businesses to begin construction of their cultivation facilities. The pre-construction permits were issued to three out of 40 craft grow licensee holders, who received their licenses in August 2021 under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. The pre-construction permit awardees included:

  • Galaxy Labs

  • Mint Cannabis

  • Star Buds Illinois

"When Illinois legalized cannabis, it was essential that we do what no other state has done - make sure the most impacted communities benefited. I'm pleased to see that these diverse businesses are clear to start construction, and I wish them success as this market expands." - Illinois Governor Pritzker

What Does This Mean?

The process of obtaining a craft growers license in Illinois is a treacherous task on its own, and receiving a pre-construction permit is just one of many crucial steps of that process. Obtaining a pre-construction permit comes with many benefits, not only to the craft grower but for the expansion of cannabis in Illinois as well. Illinois pre-construction permit benefits include:

  • A clear to start construction

  • The creation of hundreds of jobs across the state

  • Further expansion of the existing cannabis workforce

  • Safe and regulated cannabis production

Having a comprehensive knowledge of the entire Illinois craft growing license process helps paint a clearer picture of what the future has in store for the cannabis industry as a whole. Additionally, this gives insight into the timeline of Illinois cannabis expansion for both businesses and consumers alike. Although they’ve received their pre-construction permit, some estimations anticipate that it could take at least a year before these three craft growers are operational and producing retail cannabis, assuming it takes six months for construction, then another six months to grow and cure their first crop.

In August 2021, 40 Illinois craft grow licenses were issued, three of which now have pre-construction permits; that's less than 10% who have received PRE-construction permits in over eight months since the licenses were issued.

This seems to be an abnormally long period compared to other construction permitting procedures, even when accounting for additional zoning applications and processes that adult-use cannabis companies have to endure. Additionally, NANIS Logistics estimates construction completion to take between six months to a year.

Industry Expectations

The number of pre-construction permits issued thus far is significantly lower than what was expected. License winners were able to navigate the application for adult-se cannabis craft cultivation but have struggled to get through construction permitting. Still, these three current permits are a tremendous step forward, providing some reassurance that the Illinois cannabis industry is still moving in the right direction. It’s vital that the remaining 37 craft grower awardees get their pre-construction permits or the Illinois cannabis industry will continue to stall due to lack of supply and competition.

If you’re in need of secure cannabis transportation or other transportation services in Illinois, contact NANIS Logistics. Our professionals ensure efficient and economical deliveries, along with real-time tracking and secure transport protocols. Inquire today!

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