Yo, what’s good? This is Dan, and I’m here to give you the scoop on what’s happening in Illinois. The regulators over there have decided to extend the deadline for craft cannabis growers to get their operations up and running.
According to the state’s Department of Agriculture, they’re giving growers an extension because of a few different reasons. First off, we can’t forget about the ongoing Covid-19 situation that’s been messing up everyone’s plans. But on top of that, there have also been some supply chain issues that are making it difficult for growers to get everything they need to get started.
So what exactly is a craft grower license? Well, basically it means that you can grow, dry, cure, and package cannabis. But there are some limits to how much you can grow. The amount of space you have is measured in square footage, and a craft grower can have up to 5,000 square feet of canopy space for plants that are in the flowering stage. And just so you know, that space only includes the plants and not any walkways or aisles.
But here’s the thing: if you’re a licensed craft grower, the Department of Agriculture might let you increase your space by increments of 3,000 square feet. They’ll make this decision based on how much demand there is for cannabis in the market and how well you’ve been following all the rules.
The deadline for these growers to get up and running was originally set for March 1, 2023. But now the regulators are giving them even more time. The new deadline is February 1, 2024. That should give everyone plenty of time to get everything in order.
Now, let’s talk about why Illinois decided to legalize adult-use cannabis in the first place. The governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed a bill into law in 2020 that made it legal for adults to use cannabis recreationally. He said at the time that it was “the right thing to do” and that Illinois was setting an example for other states.
Since then, Illinois has been making bank off of cannabis sales. Pritzker recently announced that more than 30,000 jobs have been created since legalization happened in 2020. And get this: last year alone, adult-use dispensaries sold more than $1.5 billion worth of product. That’s a 12% increase from the year before!
Pritzker is pretty stoked about all this success. He said in a statement earlier this year that Illinois is “well on our way towards creating the most equitable and economically prosperous cannabis industry in the nation.” And he’s not wrong – Illinois has one of the most diverse cannabis industries out there.
So there you have it – the latest news from Illinois about craft cannabis growers getting an extension on their deadline. Looks like things are going pretty well over there!