Marijuana Business Magazine July 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | July 2019 144 For information about cannabis regulations in other markets, order the 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook at Main measures MMJ business regulations State tax requirements Sampling of state licensing & application fees House Bill 1 passed in 2013 Illinois is a complex market for businesses to navigate. The state has implemented caps on the number of dispensaries and cultivation sites allowed to operate, and licensing fees are pricey. Strict rules govern nearly all aspects of business operations, including location, security, inventory tracking and testing. Illinois’ MMJ program is technically a pilot program set to expire July 1, 2020. 1% retailer’s occupation tax on dispensary sales; 7% medical cannabis privilege tax on cultivators. Application Dispensaries: $5,000 Cultivators: $25,000 License Dispensaries: $30,000 (new); $25,000 (renewal) Cultivators: $200,000 (new); $100,000 (renewal)   What to watch Illinois made history May 31, when it became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana cultivation and sales through its Legislature. Set to become one of the largest U.S. adult-use cannabis markets based on resident population and tourist traffic, Illinois' new legalization plan will offer tremendous business potential to marijuana entrepreneurs in the coming years. While existing medical dispensaries will have the first crack at adult-use sales, dozens of retail stores, processing and cultivation licenses will be issued in two rounds starting in mid-2020. Marijuana Business Daily estimates sales could surpass $2 billion annually once the market matures. The Economic Policy Institute of Illinois projects the recreational market could create nearly 20,000 jobs. The state’s Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) began Jan. 31, 2019, allowing Illinois residents prescribed opioids to instead apply for a 90-day renewable medical marijuana card. Analysis by Marijuana Business Daily found that the OAPP could generate $100 million in additional sales from 90,000 new patients if 3.5% of Illinois residents prescribed opioids took advantage of the program. If 15% of residents prescribed opioids opted into the OAPP, this could generate more than $400 million from 365,000 patients. By late May, 1,713 patients had enrolled in the program—more than 400 per month—representing 2.4% of total registered patients in the state. Market AtA Glance | Illinois At the end of May, newly elected Gov. J.B. Pritzker successfully led Illinois lawmakers to agreement on an adult-use legalization bill, with sales slated to begin Jan. 1, 2020. The move will make Illinois the most-populous Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana. The state′s existing medical market is flour- ishing: Since launching sales in November 2015, Illinois has sold $325 million in medical mari- juana. Sales at Illinois’ 55 dispensaries already had surpassed $80 million for the year in May, while patient counts had grown by more than 19,000 through the first five months of the year, an increase of 37%. The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program, launched in January, is expected to significantly increase patient counts and sales in the state of nearly 13 million residents. Business is booming for Illinois-based multistate operators, too: Cresco Labs, Grassroots Cannabis and Green Thumb Industries all have experienced substantial growth and are rapidly expanding their footprints within Illinois and beyond. – Maggie Cowee Photo by Antonio Gabola