Give Your Illinois Craft Grower Cannabis License a Huge Boost with Application Templates
Need Help Getting Started with Your Illinois Craft Grower or Infuser License Application?
This document template set will save you hundreds of hours preparing your Illinois Craft Grower application.
We are still awaiting information on when the 2nd round of craft grower applications will be accepted, but some people are already planning ahead. Are you one of them?
Becoming an Illinois Cannabis Grower Applicant is Cool, but Challenging!
Every week, I meet new Illinois cannabis production applicants, and it’s exciting to see this new industry coming to fruition in Illinois. All adults should have the right to consume cannabis, so it’s great that Illinois is willing to be a leader and has become the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis.
I’ve been working on cannabis industry documents and application materials since 2016, and I’ve been designing and using cannabis cultivation facilities for over 20 years. At heart, I’m a grower, and I wish it were easy to legally set up shop and just grow cannabis plants for a living. Unfortunately though, states are concerned about being too liberal with legalizing a psychoactive substance, so they are generally making it challenging to get a cannabis license, and this is especially true in Illinois.
Although the Craft Grower License in Illinois is supposedly for small business people from disadvantaged demographic groups, the fact is that the licensing requirements are on par with what I’ve seen in states with the strictest big-business big-corporate licensing regimes.
Over time, the rules will loosen up, but for now, you’ve got about 500 hours of time to put into gathering and organizing your application materials. With the cannabis application license templates we sell here, we believe we’ve reduced your workload by 300 hours. We know that because that’s literally how long it took us to write all these exhibits!
The exhibits are written from the standpoint of a hypothetical cannabis license applicant. Pretend you are getting to see a great competitor’s application and use it to streamline your own cannabis application writing process.
The Four Pillars of Winning a Competitive Cannabis License Application
- Have a Strong Team – The biographies, work experience and educational backgrounds of your executive team and its advisors are critical to showing the State of Illinois that you have the experience to succeed as a cannabis license holder.
- Have a Facility Location Pinned Down – The State of Illinois wants to grant cannabis licenses to people who can live up to their strict requirement of being operational within 6 months. This means you should have permission from the city, own or have a long-term lease with the owner, have written proof that the owner is fully informed about your cannabis production plans, and show that you have access to adequate utility service.
- Have Solid Financial Backing – No cannabis business can survive without adequate investment capital. Building a cannabis production facility costs at least $300 per square foot if you invest in reliable environmental control systems. Plus, you need to pay employees and development costs for at least 9 months before cultivation income starts covering your operating costs.
- Submit a Complete, Well Organized Application – The cannabis regulators and application judges of any state are just like other humans; they like it when things are easy. Because of this, your application should be as orderly, complete and succinct as possible, as well as perfectly within their guidelines and expectations.
Illinois Craft Grower Law
Here are some of the main requirements of the Illinois Cannabis Grower Application:
- Non-refundable application fee of $5,000 – the license fee is $30,000 if your application is selected.
- The legal name of the craft grower.
- The proposed physical address of the craft grower.
- The name, address, social security number, date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the craft grower – all of whom must be at least 21 years of age.
- Details of any administrative or judicial proceeding where anyone of the people from requirement 4 have pled guilty, or had a license revoked or suspended in the past.
- Proposed copy of the bylaws including procedures for oversight of craft grower, including development and implementation of plant monitoring system, accurate record keeping, staffing plan, and security plan approved by the Department of State Police that comply with rules issues by department of Ag -coming for October 2019- A physical inventory shall be done of the plants on a weekly basis by the craft grower.
See Links below for currently available plans. Contact Jennifer Martin for a preview.
Here are the exhibits we’ve tackled for you:
- 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. Total Points: 145 Page Limit: 65
- Cultivation Plan (This is the only one not suitable for the Infuser’s License Application) Applicant 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
- Product Safety and Labeling Plan 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 product defect or adverse health consequences to consumers, including methods of identifying product, notifying dispensaries and/or consumers, and disposal of the returned product. Total Points: 95 Page Limit: 55
- 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
- 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
- Diversity Plan Applicant must: provide a narrative that establishes a goal of diversity in ownership, management, employment, and contracting to ensure that diverse participants and groups are afforded equality of opportunity. Total Points: 100 Page limit: No more than 2500 words
We have not attempted to create content for the bonus Community Plans
Note: It’s very important to have an attorney or compliance expert review all of your documents before you submit! You will competing against many other applicants who have experience obtaining competitive cannabis licenses in other states, and against high-power legal teams.
We try our best to include everything that’s important, but we cannot be held liable for mismatches between the details of these documents and Illinois cannabis regulations.