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Illinois Delays Awarding New Marijuana Business Licenses

Illinois has delayed granting more than 80 marijuana business licenses that were scheduled to be awarded on July 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order earlier this week announcing that the July 1 deadline for issuing adult-use cannabis craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses has been temporarily suspended. This includes 40 craft grower licenses, up to 40 infuser licenses, and an unlimited number of transporter licenses.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture or IDOA said that the governor issued the executive order to extend the July 1 deadline due to the previous application deadline extension and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and the 6-week deadline extension granted to applicants have caused unforeseeable delays in the application review process. The Department is working tirelessly to ensure that applications are scored and awarded in a fair, deliberate and equitable manner," said Jerry Costello II, Acting IDOA Director.

The IDOA said it will publicly announce the new date for issuing licenses once it is determined.

In June 2019, Illinois officially became the eleventh U.S. state to legalize marijuana for adult use after Governor Pritzker, who advocated for legalization in his 2018 campaign, signed the marijuana legalization bill into law. Legal recreation marijuana sales began in Illinois from January 1 this year.

The Illinois Department of Revenue has projected that the marijuana industry will generate over $57 million in tax revenue and licensing fees in fiscal 2020, and $140.5 million in tax revenue alone, in fiscal 2021.

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