The 88 social equity craft cannabis growers awarded permits by Illinois last year were granted a reprieve this past week, when the state Department of Agriculture pushed back a March 1 deadline to be operational by more than a year for many of those licensees.
For the first round of growers, their deadline is now Feb. 1, 2024, and for the second round, it’s Dec. 1, 2024, Illinois Public Radio WBEZ reported.
Even with the extension, however, many are uncertain they’ll be able to raise the capital they need to get open by then. Several told WBEZ they’re trying to raise several million dollars for build-outs and other expenses, and capital is tight.
The Illinois market expansion via social equity licenses has been underway for years but has endured multiple delays. So far, only two of the 88 have opened for business, IPR reported, and there are another 21 that already service the Illinois recreational cannabis market.