Illinois issues 185 new recreational marijuana retail licenses

Illinois regulators on Friday announced tentative winners for 185 new recreational marijuana retail permits.

The licenses, awarded by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), mean that the marijuana retail market in the state will more than double, since there are only 110 adult-use shops in operation.

Still, the new licenses are only conditional, and the winners aren’t yet fully approved to begin sales, according to a statement from the IDFPR.

The conditional licensing status, rather, allows those 185 winners to being building out their shops in anticipation of eventually getting the green light from regulators to begin sales.

The licensees have 180 days to gain that approval from the IDFPR, the agency stated, and during that time must, among other things:

  • Choose locations for their stores.
  • Send floor plans to the agency for approval.
  • Submit principal officer fingerprints to the state for records.
  • Pay licensing fees.

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The 185 licenses have been in limbo since August 2021 because of a court order that initially prevented the state from awarding the permits.

But that order was rescinded in May by a different judge, who ruled that the licensing process can move forward.