ILLINOIS: IDFPR Announces Approval Of Permanent Rules For Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Tie-breaking Process

Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Approves Tiebreaker Rules; Dispensary Licenses to be Issued in Coming Weeks

ILLINOIS: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced today that permanent rules have been adopted for adult use cannabis dispensary licensees to be selected when there are two or more applicants in the same Bureau of Labor Statistics Regions with tied high scores. The rules, which were filed in June, may be found here.

The approval of these rules allows IDFPR to move forward in awarding the 75 conditional adult use cannabis dispensary licenses that were authorized by the 2019 Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Consistent with the new rules, IDFPR will provide a public notice announcing the applicants with tied high scores who, if they meet the requirements in the rules, may participate in the selection process for a conditional license.

“We are pleased that these rules have been adopted, and we remain unwavering in our commitment to ensuring these licenses are issued in a fair and objective way that implements Illinois’ equity-centric law,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Gov. Pritzker. “Additional licenses will be made available in the coming years and these rules will help ensure a strong foundation is established for the licensing process in the future.”

Once IDFPR awards a conditional license, the licensee will have 180 days to find a location within its BLS Region to operate. A license to operate cannot be issued if the location is within 1,500 feet of an existing licensed dispensing organization. More about the awarding of the conditional adult use dispensing organization licenses may be found under 410 ILCS 705/15-25 and 15-30 of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

In addition, application scoring for craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses is being finalized, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture will announce award dates in the near future.

Office of Marijuana Policy Unveils New Details On Planned Launch Of Adult Use Marijuana In Maine

Retail sales to the public permitted to begin on or after October 9, 2020.

MAINE: The Office of Marijuana Policy, a part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, unveiled plans for the issuance of Maine’s first active licenses for adult use marijuana establishments. The Office intends to issue the first active licenses to recreational cannabis businesses on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Retail sales of adult use marijuana to consumers 21 years of age or older will be permitted starting on Friday, October 9, 2020.

The issuance of active licenses will continue the Office of Marijuana Policy’s structured rollout of Maine’s nascent adult use industry, which had been indefinitely postponed in April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The public’s health and safety are at the forefront of every decision we make at the Office of Marijuana Policy,” said OMP Director Erik Gundersen. “While we were poised to launch this new industry earlier this year, we were unwilling to sacrifice the high standards we have set for this program by launching during an emerging public health pandemic and in the absence of a testing facility. With the support of the public health community, municipalities across the state, and the industry we regulate, we have used the last few months to ensure this new industry is introduced to Maine consumers in a manner that is as responsible as possible.”

Active licensure is the culmination of a three-step application process which also includes conditional licensure and local authorization, respectively. An active license is required for adult use establishments to come into possession, process and sell adult use marijuana, including initiating plant transfers from Maine’s existing medical marijuana program.

It is expected adult use licensees will utilize the time between active licensure and Maine’s retail sales launch date to harvest and process marijuana, ensure those products satisfy the mandatory testing requirements, and move product through the supply chain to stock retail store shelves. Additionally, businesses which will conduct retail sales will prepare to implement and support social distancing and other public health guidance at a time when public interest may attract a significant consumer presence to their retail locations.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in honoring the will of Maine voters and a significant step toward launching a new industry in the state,” added Gundersen. “Many of the business owners we have spoken with during the application process are ready and eager to commence operations.”

The application process required by the adult use law requires state regulators to review application materials for form and substance, with an eye toward details such as ensuring that all applicants have completed their required state and federal criminal history record checks; that the establishment’s operation, facility, and security plans satisfy the requirements of both the Marijuana Legalization Act and the adult use program rule; and that the designated host municipality has provided the applicant with authorization to conduct business in their community.

OMP expects to issue licenses in each of the four categories of adult use establishments: cultivation, products manufacturing, retail sale, and testing. Information on the specific number of licenses issued and the identities of active licensees will be made available on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The Mills Administration created OMP within DAFS in February 2019. The Office is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized marijuana, including Maine’s existing Medical Use of Marijuana Program.