Illinois Recreational (Adult-Use) Cannabis & Medical Marijuana Markets


Opportunities for entrepreneurs to get into the Illinois cannabis market are here. The state’s cannabis market has exploded now that the legislature legalized adult-use. Current medical marijuana businesses in Illinois got an early advantage and were able to apply for an adult-use license within 60 days after the bill passed.

Aspiring entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to apply for seven different types of adult-use cannabis business licenses in Illinois in the coming years. We have been on the ground in Illinois working with lawyers, engaging with ancillary businesses, and meeting with our clients to ensure their cannabis business success.  Contact us and we can show you where the best opportunities are to enter the market and serve consumers in Illinois.

Those interested in submitting a license application for an Illinois adult-use cannabis business should contact us now to begin putting together business plans and a financial model, which will help position you to raise capital, secure property, win local approval, and recruit potential team members. These preparatory documents are crucial to inform investors and are also necessary for the license application.

Contact our cannabis consultants now to submit a successful application to operate an Illinois adult-use cannabis business!

Cannabis Business Guidance in Illinois

There has been an increase of cannabis-related activity in Illinois because of the legislature’s recent legalization of adult-use. We can help you sort out the facts, educate you on the actual market conditions and opportunities, provide specific information based on what type of cannabis business you want to start, and begin developing goals and plans.

Get prepared in advance for the state’s request for applications to open a licensed cannabis business in Illinois. The most immediate actions you can take now to increase your chances of winning a competitive cannabis business license in Illinois are to begin putting together a financial model and business plan, and seek out local ancillary businesses to partner with, such as CPAs and law firms. Contact us now to start your Opportunity Assessment, Financial Modeling, Facility Design Concepts, and Hourly Learning Sessions with our Subject Matter Experts.

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Market Conditions in Illinois

Illinois is the first state to legislatively pass a measure that legalizes and regulates the use and sales of adult-use cannabis. Entrepreneurs new to the industry should start their positioning now to get ahead in the highly competitive licensing process.

Licensing application release dates for new adult-use cannabis businesses in Illinois*:

  • Dispensaries -- October 1, 2019
  • Craft growers -- January 7, 2020
  • Infusers -- January 7, 2020
  • Transporters -- January 7, 2020
  • Cultivation centers -- January 2021

State-implemented deadlines for awarding new adult-use cannabis business licenses in Illinois*:

  • Dispensaries -- May 1, 2020
  • Craft growers -- July 1, 2020
  • Infusers -- July 1, 2020
  • Transporters -- July 1, 2020
  • Cultivation centers -- TBD

Illinois implemented a medical marijuana program back in 2014 with 30 qualifying patient conditions. That number increased to over 50 conditions in 2019, with cancer, severe fibromyalgia, and PTSD making up the 3 biggest patient groups in the program. The state passed rules that make it easier and quicker for patients to receive a medical marijuana card in Illinois in 2018. Then they launched the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program in January 2019, which gives individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids access to medical marijuana as an alternative to manage pain.

Entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in getting into the Illinois cannabis industry should contact us now to start their pre-license positioning.

*1st wave. Dates listed are the latest possible date, which is subject to change at the state's discretion.

Stay Up-to-Date on Cannabis in Illinois

Cannabis legalization is changing rapidly. Our expert cannabis consultants can help develop your cannabis business from the ground up. For the latest news and events in the industry, visit our Blog and News and Events pages, and have a look at some of the following top articles on cannabis in Illinois.

More Than $3.1 Million Of Marijuana Purchased On First Day Of Illinois Legal Sales” - Marijuana Moment

If Pot is Legalized in Illinois, What Happens to Medical Marijuana?” - WTTW News

Illinois' marijuana market could rival Colorado's in the coming years, report finds” - Chicago Tribune

Illinois Cannabis Industry Projections

Registered medical marijuana patients (July 2019)

Spending Forecast

Compounded annual growth rate

Source: "The State of Legal Marijuana Markets" by Arcview Market Research / BDS Analytics, 7th Edition.

A smarter, more strategic approach to Illinois cannabis business licenses

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