Deadline Ahead for Illinois Marijuana Businesses

CHICAGO (AP) — With a Monday afternoon deadline approaching, people who want to own medical marijuana businesses in Illinois are hurrying to complete their applications for a limited number of permits.

Two state agencies – the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture – are accepting applications for dispensaries and cultivation centers until Monday at 3 p.m.

The state’s new medical marijuana law went into effect Jan. 1, but the first crop can’t be planted until permits for growers are issued later this year. The law prohibits patients from growing their own cannabis. Commercial growers will pay a 7 percent privilege tax on their marijuana sales.

Panels of legal and policy experts will review and score the applications in a competitive process. Illinois expects to grant up to 21 permits for cultivation centers and up to 60 permits for dispensaries.

The Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group, has said the Illinois fees for cultivation centers are the highest in the nation. There is a non-refundable application fee of $25,000 and a first-year registration fee of $200,000.

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