Illinois recreational marijuana licensing delays lengthen

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The next round of adult-use cannabis licensing in Illinois remains up in the air thanks to a delay in the application scoring process caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The delays could be especially costly for cultivators and infusers that, unlike retail applicants, had to secure locations in advance.

A state official indicated that KPMG, which is being paid $6.7 million to evaluate the applications, is still working on scoring the applicants, the Chicago Tribune reported.

No timeline for awarding licenses has been made, but the official indicated to the newspaper that it could be September before the 75 store licenses are awarded. It could be even longer before the 40 grower permits and 40 processor licenses are issued.

The retail licenses were to be awarded in May and the others in July, so the ongoing delays are expected to reach at least four months.

The COVID-19 pandemic also could make it more difficult for social equity applicants to establish themselves.

Illinois had been considered at the forefront of the issue.