Illinois Craft Grower License Application

Illinois Craft Grower License Application

Illinois Craft Grower License

how to get a craft grower license

To become a craft grower in the state of Illinois, your company must submit its licensing process for a craft grower license from the Department of Agriculture. You also must have the best application as it is a merit based license. In order to qualify for a craft grower license, an applicant must receive at least 75% of the points available.  The craft grower winners from 2022 all had scores over 98.4% of the points.  Many of the next craft growers will result from a lawsuit.

In Illinois, the craft grower licensees were selected by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Unlike the previous medical cultivation centers, cannabis cultivation for Illinois’ cannabis industry offered a smaller craft grower applications.  The Craft grower applications were extremely complex, but ours scored perfectly and we won several craft grower licenses for our clients. Cannabis production should also come to the social equity applicants from a disproportionately impacted area of Illinois.

They all must pass a  background check to get their grower license.  Craft grow licenses were limited to 40 craft grows in 2020, and another 48 were awarded in 2022, and another 62 should be awarded from litigation in 2023. The licensing fee for the cannabis business is $40,000 and no additional craft applicants will be awarded unless the Illinois cannabis laws get amended. 

The licenses will be awarded first to the highest-scoring applicants, then down the line until all licenses have been awarded. Therefore, getting the maximum points available in every section of the licensing process is very important & our Illinois cannabis lawyers have done this before.

  • In 2021 another 60 craft grower’s licenses will be awarded by the Illinois Department of Agriculture on the same basis – unless there is an amendment, subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of Illinois Cannabis license news.

How much cannabis can an Illinois Craft Grower License grow?

Illinois cannabis defines a “Craft grower” as a facility operated by a cannabis industry organization or business that is licensed by the Department of Agriculture to cultivate, dry, cure, and package cannabis and perform other necessary activities to make cannabis available for sale at a dispensing organization or use at a processing organization.

A craft grower may contain up to 5,000 square feet of canopy space on its premises for plants in the flowering state. The Department of Agriculture may authorize an increase or decrease of flowering stage cultivation space in increments of 3,000 square feet by rule based on market need, craft grower capacity, and the licensee’s history of compliance or noncompliance, with a maximum space of 14,000 square feet for cultivating plants in the flowering stage.

RELATED POST: Getting a Job in the Cannabis Industry

Illinois Craft Grower Licenses Application Information

The State of Illinois was taking questions from applicants for Craft Grower licenses

Craft Growers License Application

Applicants were encouraged to submit written questions to the Department regarding the licensing process. The Department will post its responses on two dates as set forth below.

The Department may summarize related questions and will not publish responses to repetitive questions, questions unrelated to the application process, or fact-specific hypothetical questions.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will post the questions it receives and the Department’s responses on two dates.


Illinois Craft Grower Licenses Application Exhibits

A: Suitability of the Proposed Facility

Suitability of the Proposed Facility Applicant must:

  • demonstrate that the proposed facility is suitable for effective and safe cultivation of cannabis.
  • demonstrate the ability to meet consumer demand by operating the craft grow facility in a safe and efficient manner with minimal impact on the environment and the surrounding community.
  • provide an Operations and Management Practices Plan.

B: Suitability of Employee Training Plan

Suitability of the Employee Training Plan Applicant must: (1) describe a staffing plan that will provide and ensure adequate staffing and experience for accessible business hours, safe production, sanitation, security, and theft prevention; and (2) provide an employee handbook that will provide employees with a working guide of the administration and policies of the facilities. Total Points: 50 Page Limit: 15, not including a copy of the proposed handbook

C: Security Plan and Record keeping

Applicant must:

  1. demonstrate its ability to prevent the theft or diversion of cannabis and how the plan will assist ISP, Department, and local law enforcement in carrying out law enforcement responsibilities, including evidence of compliance with all items in Sections 1300.355, 1300.380, and 1300.385 of the emergency rules;
  2. demonstrate that its plan for record-keeping, tracking and monitoring inventory, quality control and security and other policies and procedures will discourage unlawful activity, including a description of the applicant’s plan to coordinate with and dispose of unused or surplus cannabis with ISP and the Department;
  3. describe the enclosed, locked facility for securing and storing cannabis and the Applicant’s security measures, including measures for when the location is closed for business and steps taken to ensure that cannabis is not visible to the public;
  4. Applicant must also provide its plan to apply for a transporter license or plan to work with a licensed transporter and the procedures for safely and securely delivering cannabis and cannabis-infused products to cannabis business establishments.

There are several new additions to the cannabis security plan some of the highlights are both 90-days recording on-site and 90 days of cloud recordings must be available to the state.  The craft grows application Illinois does not require a security guard to be on location during hours of operation.  Total Points: 145 Page Limit: 65

D: Cultivation Plan

Applicants for craft grower licenses must: (1) describe its plan to provide a steady, uninterrupted supply of cannabis to registered dispensaries; (2) demonstrate knowledge of cultivation methods to be used, including the various strains to be cultivated and the Applicant’s experience, if applicable, with growing those strains or comparable agricultural products; (3) demonstrate the steps that will be taken to ensure the quality of the cannabis, including the purity and consistency, of the cannabis to be provided to dispensaries. Total Points: 75 Page Limit: 50

E: Product Safety and Labeling Plan

A Craft Grow applicant must: (1) describe its plan for safe and accurate packaging and labeling of cannabis; (2) describe its plan for testing cannabis and ensuring that all cannabis is free of contaminants; (3) describe its plan for establishing a product recall in the event of a product defect or adverse health consequences to consumers, including methods of identifying the product, notifying dispensaries and/or consumers, and disposal of the returned product. Total Points: 95 Page Limit: 55illinois craft grower license

F: Business Plan and Services to be Offered

cannabis business plan for craft grower’s license applicant must:

  1. provide a business plan that describes how the craft grower plans to operate on a long-term basis, including a detailed description of the amount and source of the equity and debt commitment and financial feasibility;
  2. demonstrate and/or describe the experience that the Applicant or its officers, board members, or incorporators have in business management, this industry, or agriculture and horticulture, and the extent of their involvement in or ability to influence the day-to-day operations of the facility;
  3. provide a startup timetable that provides an estimated time from permit approval to full operation and the basis of the estimates. This should include a statement that licensed Applicant can demonstrate experience in or business practices that promote economic empowerment in Disproportionately Impacted Areas.
  4. Total Points: 110 Page Limit: 60

G: Social Equity Applicant

These are the normal Social Equity Applicant requirements that we have written extensively about – Click Here for more information regarding the social equity applicant component of the craft growers license.

200 points – no page limit.

H: Craft Growers License Applicant’s Labor and Employment Practices

Applicant must: provide a plan to provide a safe, healthy, and economically beneficial working environment for its employees, including, but not limited to, its plans regarding workplace safety and environmental standards, codes of conduct, healthcare benefits, educational benefits, retirement benefits, living wage standards, and entering a labor peace agreement with employees. Total Points: 20 Page Limit: 10

I: Environmental Plan

Applicant must: (1) provide or demonstrate a plan to minimize the carbon footprint, environmental impact, and resource needs for the production of cannabis and; (2) describe any plans for the use of alternative energy, treatment of waste water, and run off, and treatment of exchanged air. Total Points: 20 Page Limit: 10

J: Illinois Resident Controlled or Owned

Craft Growers License applicant must declare whether Applicant is Illinois Resident Controlled or Owned. If the Applicant is not applying as Illinois Resident Controlled or Owned, Applicant need not provide any further information in this Exhibit. If Applicant is applying as Illinois Resident Controlled or Owned, the Applicant must: provide tax records proving the facility will be 51% controlled or owned by an individual or individuals who have been an Illinois resident for each of the past 5 years. Total Points: 90 Page Limit: none

K: Veteran Controlled or Owned

Applicant must declare whether the Applicant is Veteran Controlled or Owned. If Applicant is applying as Veteran-owned or Controlled, Applicant must: provide evidence proving the facility will be 51% controlled or owned by a veteran, as defined in Section 45-57 of the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500).

L: Diversity Plan

Applicants must provide a narrative that establishes a goal of diversity in ownership, management, employment, and contracting to ensure that diverse participants and groups get equality of opportunity.

M: Bonus Section (Optional)

In the event of a tie in scoring the Craft Grower applications, the Illinois Department of Agriculture may award up to 2 bonus points for preferred but not required initiatives in the following categories: (1) community benefits plan, (2) substance abuse prevention plan, (3) local community/neighborhood report. If submitting this Exhibit, the Applicant must: state the category (or categories) to which license Applicant has prepared a response.

N: Property Ownership

Applicant must submit different documentation depending on Applicant’s status as the property owner.

O: Notice of Proper Zoning

This Exhibit contains two parts: one completed by the Applicant, and one completed by the local zoning authority.

P: Organizational Information and Financial Interest Disclosure

The license applicant must disclose all relevant financial information related to the craft grower. In responding to this Exhibit, Applicants are encouraged to review the definition of “financial interest” in the rules, and Sections 1300.305 and 1300.300(c)(22)-(27). The Craft Grower Applicant must provide:

  • The ownership structure of the Craft Grower, including the percentage ownership interest of each individual or business entity. This should identify all principal officers and business entities that through direct or indirect means, manage, own or control the interests and assets of the Craft Grower Applicant. a. Applicant must state what type of marijuana business entity it is: sole proprietor, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other.
  • Sole proprietors must provide the name, residence, and date of birth of the owner. ii. All partnerships must provide the names and addresses of all partners, both general and limited, and any partnership documents. iii. Limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies must provide a copy of a certificate of existence and a copy of a Certificate of Good Standing from the Illinois Secretary of State, issued within the last 60 days. iv. Limited liability companies must provide a copy of their Articles of Organization and a listing of the members of the limited liability company and their contact information. v. Corporations must provide a copy of their Articles of Incorporation, and a copy of assumed name registration issued by the Secretary of State if applicable. Corporations must also provide the names and addresses of all stockholders and directors of the corporation.
  1.  All foreign entities must provide the documentation applicable to their entity type above, plus a copy of a Certificate of Good Illinois craft grower licenseStanding from their jurisdiction of incorporation, and a copy of a Certificate of Authority issued by the Illinois Secretary of State.
  2. A current organizational chart of the Craft Grower, including positions descriptions and names and resumes of persons occupying positions. Include any additional skills, education, or experience not included in employees’ resumes.
  3. Copies of compensation agreements, management agreements, supply agreements, or other financial documents between or among the Applicant.
  4. Documentation establishing that Applicant has at least $20,000 in liquid assets.
  5. Nature and type of any outstanding bonds, loans, lines of credit, etc., issued or executed, in connection with the opening or operating of the proposed craft grower.
  6. Disclosure of all sources of funding used to acquire or develop the craft grower business and documentation of such funding. Applicant must complete the below worksheet for any individual or entity identified in the above information.

Q: Principal Officer or Board Member Disclosure Statement

Each Craft Grower principal officer form must complete this form entirely despite the potential appearance of duplicative information.

R. Notarized Statement

The Craft Grower Applicant must sign and notarize a statement that specifically provides he or she will not do certain things, and that the information contained in the craft grower application is true and correct.

S: Fingerprint Consent Form

The craft grower license applicant must complete the Fingerprint Submission Consent and Notification Form and submit it directly to a live scan vendor. Applicant should not alter the Requesting Agency Name, Requesting Agency ORI Identifier, Requesting Agency Address, or Purpose Code fields of the Form.

How Many Craft Growers Licenses in Illinois?

As of July 2021, Illinois issued 40 craft grower licenses.  Illinois issued another 48 licenses in 2022.  Another 62 licenses remain under the law’s cap of 150. A lawsuit over the scoring of the craft grower applications should result in the award of the last 62 craft grower licenses.

Do you really want a craft growers license?

Whoa, I know – right?  This application is crazy long & if you win, then it becomes a condition of your license. But if you liked this and want more information, subscribe to the channel and give us a thumbs up on the content so more of it comes up in your feed.

Can a Craft Grow share a location with a Dispensary in Illinois?

 According to page 215 of the law – a craft grower may share a premise with an infuser or dispensary – and have their licensees share common areas like locker rooms, lunch rooms, and bathrooms.

Check out our Cannabis Legalization Map – and you’ll discover all these links about Illinois Cannabis!

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