Illinois successfully launched its adult-use cannabis program at the beginning of January 2020, selling more than $3 million worth of cannabis products on the first day of legal sales.
Business remained steady over the next two months, generating $39,247,840.83 from sales in February, and $35,902,543.23 in March.
But much like the rest of the world, Illinois’s fledgling adult-use cannabis industry was blindsided by the global COVID-19 outbreak and the economic repercussions that followed.
Before the global pandemic struck, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) was scheduled to announce the awarding of up to 75 dispensary licenses on May 1, 2020.
But IDFPR this week revealed that the deadline will be pushed back to compensate for issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
IDFPR on Wednesday announced that Governor J.B. Pritzker would be signing an executive order to suspend the May 1, 2020 deadline for the Department to issue up to 75 conditional adult-use dispensing organization licenses.
Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Governor Pritzker, Toi Hutchinson in a press release said that the administration is committed to creating a legal cannabis industry that reflects the diversity of Illinois residents.
“We recognize that countless entrepreneurs were looking forward to May 1 and the next step it represented for Illinois’ adult-use cannabis industry,” said Hutchinson. “However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays in the application review process. This executive order will help ensure that we continue to build out this industry in a deliberate and equity-centric manner.”
According to IDFPR, the requirement will be suspended for the duration of Illinois’ Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation or until the Department announces a new date through a public notice.
IDFPR says it is looking to announce the dates as soon as it is feasible.