Illinois awards 70 permits in flurry of adult-use cannabis business licensing

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Illinois regulators on Monday issued 70 additional adult-use cannabis business licenses, including permits to an initial 32 craft cultivators, 28 to processors and 10 to transporters.

More than 80% of the licenses issued fall under the category of social equity ownership as the state tries to make good on its pledge to diversify the industry and provide opportunities to individuals and communities most harmed by the war on drugs.

More than two-thirds of the new licensees identify as nonwhite, according to a news release by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

A list of the licensees is available here.

The awards come on the heels of the state issuing 55 retail licenses.

“With the issuance of these first licenses, Illinois is expanding access to people and communities that were previously shut out,” Toi Hutchinson, the governor’s senior adviser on cannabis, said in a news release.

“We look forward to seeing businesses get off the ground in the months ahead.”

The 19-month-old, booming adult-use industry in Illinois currently is controlled by existing medical marijuana operators.