On Monday, October 8, 2022, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) declared that the state has granted operational permits to the first social equity craft grower and infuser licenses. An operational permit was issued to Star Buds, Illinois by the IDOA.
Star Buds IL was launched on Monday, the 8th of October 2022, becoming the state's first socially equitable cannabis craft grower.
"We want to make sure that individuals who have been impacted by the War on Drugs, local and federal law enforcement, the history of marijuana and cannabis, should be able to benefit from the revenues that come with the implementation of the new state cannabis program," said state senator Steve Stadelman.
After been granted a social equity craft growers and infusers license, Star Buds IL has successfully begun operations. The business is based in Rockford and is 66% owned by African-Americans.
Governor JB Pritzker praised the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and congratulated congratulations Star Buds IL and the other social equity craft grow licensees who will soon open their doors. This made it feasible for 100% of Illinois craft grow licensees to be social equity applicants.
Pritzker added that by giving the licenses, the state can start to mend the harm caused by the War on Drugs campaign among communities of color and create a fair cannabis sector.
In the most recent 2021 licensing cohort, Star Buds and 67% of the other licenses identified as non-white, according to a recent press release. In July 2022, the Department of Agriculture issued 48 craft grow permits.
8% are held by partnering organizations.
Four licenses, or 8%, are mostly owned by Hispanics.
A majority of white people control 17 of the 36%.
20 licenses, or 42%, are owned primarily by African Americans.
The agriculture department's director, Jerry Costello II, said that Star Buds Illinois is the first of the 342 licensees for cannabis and marijuana to have their doors open in the last year. He hopes that several others will do the same after them.
The DOA has issued, starting in January 2021,
54 infuser licenses,
88 craft grow licenses,
189 transporter permits.
The state also approved the addition of 21 new Early Approval Adult Use Cultivation Centers and the involvement of ten community colleges in a pilot program for community college cannabis vocational training along with the issuance of these licenses. These establishments had previously received approval from the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program.
According to Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, "Illinois is demonstrating a commitment to building an atmosphere focused on making amends for past wrongs and creating opportunities that will create a brighter future for all of Illinois." We will continue to go in the direction set forth by the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act as we endeavor to build the cannabis and marijuana sectors in the state of Illinois.
Businesses may be given greater consideration for licensure under the Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis Social Equity Program if 51 percent of the owners are people affected by the War on Drugs. In the cannabis-growing industry, the Pritzker Administration has recently faced harsh criticism for failing to provide social equity cannabis licenses.
Jerry Costello, head of the Illinois DOA, estimates that $445 million in cannabis-related revenue will be generated in 2023. According to him, companies that are granted licenses will help create thousands of well-paying jobs across the state, and the money they make will be invested directly into the communities they will have an impact on.
Holders of the craft grower license are allowed to grow marijuana for both personal use and to supply Illinois' medical marijuana clinics. The facilities should be able to produce at least 500 square feet of cannabis canopy when fully operational, and they are projected to add 50 new jobs to the market.
A complete list of license holders is available on the department's website.