Illinois Craft Cannabis Growers Get Major Deadline Extension

Even with the extension, some growers are concerned about raising enough capital.

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.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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