15 Illinois Dispensaries Still Waiting to Open

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner surprised his critics and supporters alike when he issued 52 medical cannabis dispensary permits and 18 cultivation licenses last February without preamble. But though 37 of those dispensaries are now open, 15 have yet to begin serving patients.

The reasons, according to Illinois MMJ czar Joseph Wright, range from zoning problems to various business issues, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

That’s led to speculation that some of those licenses may be surrendered, or handed over to different licensees, if the original license winners can’t manage to get a dispensary up and running.

“More likely than not, that license would be withdrawn and re-evaluated at that time,” Wright told the paper.

That could lead to further competition for the licenses, since the original application round was quite cutthroat.

The Illinois market is also expected to open up now that the legislature and Gov. Rauner have agreed to expand it, meaning the state’s MMJ industry will likely come much more into its own, along the lines of what many entrepreneurs initially expected before patient counts fell woefully short of predictions. That will make those dispensary licenses much more attractive to applicants who didn’t win one the first time around, if they’re given a second chance.