SPRINGFIELD — The state agency that oversees Illinois’ adult-use cannabis program has moved closer to awarding 55 additional retail pot dispensary licenses.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, in conjunction with the Illinois Lottery, conducted the latest social equity lottery, which drew nearly 2,700 applicants competing for the small number of coveted licenses to sell legal pot in the state.
It builds on the 192 licenses that were awarded last year following a two-year halt that resulted from a series of lawsuits over the botched rollout of the state’s social equity program.
This photo from Tuesday Jan. 14, 2020, shows cannabis growing at Revolution Global’s cannabis cultivation center in Delavan.
CHARLES REX ARBOGAST, ASSOCIATED PRESS
According to the IDFPR, there are now 137 retail dispensaries open in Illinois, most of them operated by companies that sold medical marijuana before the state’s recreational law took effect in 2020.
A provision in the recreational law, passed in 2019, allowed those companies first dibs on licenses to sell recreational pot at their existing dispensaries and the right to open another standalone dispensary for recreational sales only.