Cresco Labs, PharmaCann, Ascend Illinois, and Columbia Care are the first companies awarded licenses to cultivate cannabis for the adult-use market in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports. Currently, there are 17 cannabis cultivators in Illinois that operate 21 facilities.
The state’s new law, approved earlier this year, gives current operators the first shot at adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses.
Jeremy Unruh, director of public and regulatory affairs for PharmaCann, told the Tribune the approval allows the company to “put the pedal down in terms of producing” as adult-use sales are set to commence on January 1. Unruh said the company is working to more than double its production at its Dwight facility in preparation for the new year.
Cresco spokesman Jason Erkes said in a statement that the company is expanding its Joliet operations for the recreational crop but that Cresco had received approval for all three of its facilities. Last week, the company announced it was selling its Joliet and Kankakee facilities to Innovative Industrial Properties for about $46.3 million but would be leasing them back as part of the deal.
Applicants have to pay a $100,000 application fee and commit to participating in the social-equity program included in the law. The 55 medical cannabis dispensaries currently serving the state’s patients can apply to sell adult-use cannabis products from the same facility. So far just five dispensaries have netted the approval. All of those dispensaries are owned by Green Thumb Industries.
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