March 16, 2019

Illinois has an active marijuana program, but it is far from finalized. In fact, the law explicitly states that Illinois will either have to extend it or pass a new version by the end of 2018. So far, the medical cannabis market in Illionios shows excellent promise. Those looking to start a marijuana growing operation have plenty of opportunities here.

When was cannabis made legal

When was cannabis made legal
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Illinois enacted The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (HB 1) in 2013. It was intended to be a temporary program to service qualifying patients in the state. It specified
35 qualifying conditions but excluded chronic pain, one of the main reasons people use medical cannabis. Patients could have up to 5 ounces of cannabis every month among and could purchase it from one of the 60 dispensing organizations, supplied by 22 cultivation centers.

However, this law expires the end of the year, meaning Illinois will need to extend it or pass new legislation by December 31st, 2018.

How many cannabis growing operations are currently in the state

The law allows up to 60 cannabis business, and 56 licenses have been issued. By the end of 2015, eight were in operation. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has authorized cultivation centers to begin operating in 17 of the 22 districts.

How much money is in the Illinois cannabis market

How much money is in the Illinois cannabis market
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Medical marijuana sales in Illinois are expected to reach $225,000,000 per year, with marijuana selling for around $325 per ounce. There is already a large patient base that is expected to reach
30,000, with each consuming around 23lbs. per year.

The patient base in Illinois may also grow as the state regularly reviews petitions to add additional debilitating medical conditions or diseases to the program.

Owner & License requirements

Currently, there are two available licenses in the state: dispensary and growing operation. Applicants are not currently being accepted as the state opened and closed the licensing period in September 2014.

Cultivators are allowed to create medical marijuana/cannabis edibles and extractions and other marijuana-infused products. Requirements for prospective growing operation owners are strict: Applicants must undergo fingerprint background check, disclose any past bankruptcies, student loan defaults or child support or alimony, and they must also release complete tax returns for previous years.

A single entity can own a maximum of 3 cultivation permits. An individual is prohibited from being an owner, partner, officer, director, shareholder, or member of more than 3 permitted cultivation centers.

Financial requirements

Financial requirements
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Opening a marijuana business in Illinois will not be cheap. It is one of the most expensive states for ganjapreneurs with rather strict entry barriers. The costs associated with the application for a marijuana growing operation facility in Illinois are:

  • Non-refundable application fee for a cultivation permit: $25,000
  • Once issued a permit, $200,000 permit fee for the first year
  • Annual permit renewal: $100,000
  • Applicants were required to demonstrate $500,000 in liquid assets and a $2,000,000 bond to the Department of Agriculture

As of now, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has authorized cultivation centers to begin operating in 17 of the 22 districts.


How much time will you need to open a growing operation in Illinois? The answer can vary based on a lot of factors – one being when the state will accept applications again. Outside of that, it is a good idea to set aside at least a years to get your cannabis growing operation up and running. You will need all of that time to get finances in order, acquire the necessary licenses, locate suppliers and hire the perfect employees.

Links to consulting companies that can help open an Illinois marijuana growing operation

Links – Image powered by Fortbendmud50.com

Looking to start a marijuana cultivation center in Illinois? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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