Bill aims to resolve issues with the cannabis application process in Illinois

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(The Center Square) – Recent laws filed by State Representative La Shawn Ford suggest helping resolve issues in the marijuana growing application process and receiving responses to more than 800 applicants.

A craft grower is an establishment operated by a company licensed by the Department of Agriculture and the state to grow, dry, and package cannabis for dispensing organizations.

To apply for a crafting license, growers require a $ 5,000 security deposit and a place of business to operate from. The majority of applicants who paid the application fee and secured a place of business were abandoned because the state of Illinois failed to uphold its end of the deal, Ford said.

“These applicants had to buy permanent establishments, hire team members, and all of this came at a cost to applicants, and the state has not yet honored the end of the agreement and approved more licenses.” said Ford.

Pamela Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, said one of the reasons the low number of applications approved was based on experiences of other states with overgrowth.

“One of the big concerns among the people who are drafting the legislation is that they have looked at other states where cannabis was overgrown and unrelated and had nowhere to sell, causing some to take the product and trying to sell it on the gray market, “Althoff said. “Illinois didn’t want that to happen.”

Fords House bill 4097 was submitted on June 2nd and has yet to be added to the reading plan.

Another section of the bill requires that any adult grow center or holder of a license for an early licensing grow center producing THC oil extract, a portion of its total monthly production of THC oil extract for sale to infuser organizations Provides infuser organizations with an adequate supply for their infusion processes.

It would also prohibit pharmacies from promoting cannabis products as “craft” unless they were made by an artisanal breeder. And the bill gives growers a two-year grace period from paying taxes under the Cannabis Cultivation Privilege Tax Act. According to the draft law, they would have to start paying the tax two years after receiving the license.

Illinois lawmakers passed a recreational cannabis bill that was signed by Governor JB Pritzker in 2019. Lawmakers had tried to make the industry the fairest in the country. It included options for those convicted of possession of small quantities of marijuana to overturn their convictions. Critics, however, criticize the implementation of the law, which has largely excluded minorities and other groups from participating in the industry. The special craft licenses are specifically designed to allow people with less access to capital to participate in the industry.