The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis establishment license types in 30 days. This follows the Social Equity Council’s final approval of technical assistance plans on Tuesday morning. The Department also announced the number of licenses available in the first lottery round.
“The initial number of available licenses is not a cap, but a starting point for opening the adult-use cannabis market in an effective, measured, and thoughtful way,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We know people are anxious to apply and see this market open, and we are hopeful that making this information available will help applicants as they begin to prepare for the lottery process.”
DCP will hold multiple lotteries on an ongoing basis. DCP will announce the number of available licenses before each application round. Rounds for the license types selected through the lottery process will open staggered. The application period for the first round of lotteries will remain open for 90 days.
Applications for social equity cultivator licenses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas will have a one-time 90-day application period beginning February 3, 2022, and ending May 4, 2022.
DCP will hold two lotteries for each license type: a social equity lottery and a general lottery. Applicants selected in the social equity lottery are subject to review by the Social Equity Council to confirm their social equity status. To qualify as a social equity applicant, at least 65 percent of the ownership or control of the business must be held by individuals who meet the income and residency requirements for a social equity applicant outlined in the law.
Once the social equity applicants are selected, DCP will conduct the general lottery. Then, the applicants must go through the lottery process and be approved by the Council. All social equity-approved applicants and those selected in the general lottery will be eligible to apply for a provisional license.
“We encourage applicants to be thorough and complete their applications carefully and thoughtfully,” said DCP Drug Control Director Rod Marriott. “Applications for most license types will be entered into a lottery. There is no advantage for applicants who submit their lottery applications first. Applicants should prioritize submitting the best application they can.”
Ultimately, the department expects to open a second lottery application period for most license types in the second half of 2022.
Breakdown of Dates
The first application period for each license type will open for 90 days on the following dates:
- Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator: February 3, 2022 (non-lottery)
- Retailer: February 3, 2022
- Micro-cultivator: February 10, 2022
- Delivery Service: February 17, 2022
- Hybrid Retailer: February 24, 2022
- Food and Beverage: March 3, 2022
- Product Manufacturer: March 10, 2022
- Product Packager: March 17, 2022
- Transporter: March 24, 2022
On the other hand, an equal number of licenses will be available to social equity and general applicants. The number of licenses available in each category in the first application round:
- Retailer: 6 general licenses, 6 Social Equity licenses
- Micro-cultivator: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Delivery Service: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Hybrid Retailer: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Food and Beverage: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Product Packager: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Product Manufacturer: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Transporter: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
Applicants for cannabis establishments licensed under the following provisions are not subject to the lottery process:
- Currently licensed medical marijuana producers converting to engage in the adult-use cannabis market
- Currently licensed medical marijuana dispensary facilities converting to a hybrid retailer license to allow for the sale of cannabis for both medicinal and adult-use
- Applications for social equity cultivators located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area that meet the requirements outlined in Section 149 of Public Act 21-1 of the June 2021 Special Session
- Applicants applying for a cannabis establishment license as an Equity Joint Venture or Social Equity Partner with a licensed medical marijuana producer or dispensary facility
- Finally, Social Equity Council Micro-Cultivator Assistance Program (to be developed by the Social Equity Council)