The more than 370 applications to operate medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries in Illinois are being whittled down. Licenses could be awarded before the end of the year.
The majority of the applications won't be approved. Illinois will only allow up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries. For those that lose out, it will be costly.
To apply to open a dispensary, applicants had to pay a $5,000 fee. Cultivation center applicants paid a $25,000 fee. Both are non-refundable. Norm Sims is Executive Director of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. He says there's a risk with applying.
“One of the things I think the public doesn't understand is that this is a pilot program. It could end four years from January of this year, depending on what the general assembly wants to do,“ he said.
Local governments have little say on where the dispensaries will be located. Sgt. Scott Tarter is with the Chatham Police Department:
“When it came to our side of it, the only part that Chatham actually plays is that the business met the zoning requirements.”
If the state determines there are no qualified proposals in a district, there will be a second round of applications.