It appears that one out of every five applications will be awarded approval for marijuana business as the state has received 369 applications for such licenses. The winners will be allowed to establish grow houses and launch retail centers in Illinois.
Out of the 369 applications, 158 are seeking license to establish grow centers for medical marijuana, while the remaining 211 are meant for setting up retail shops or dispensaries. Overall, the state will be issuing 21 licenses for the grow centers and 60 for the statewide dispensaries.
Bob Morgan has been reported as saying that such a large number of applications were not actually expected by the due date ending on Monday. He is statewide project coordinator for the medical marijuana plan, called the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Morgan expressed his pleasure over the achievement that, as per their expectations, they were able to create an environment of competition among a large number of applicants. He said that they would be choosing only the best ones.
According to him, after having received the applications, they will now scrutinize all the collection of documents to find out any missing information and inform the applicants. After the applicants get notification, they will be given seven days to furnish the required information. Afterwards, it will be the task of the teams of reviewers to evaluate the applications and award points on the basis of merit.
It is to be noted that the medical marijuana law in Illinois was signed in July and, as confirmed from Morgan, the licenses are expected to be given to the winners by the end of this year.
Neil Khot, a Hoffman Estates technology professional, says that it was one of the most laborious tasks to review and make the photocopies of the essential information by the end of the application deadline.
He (Khot) reached the James Thompson Center 20 minutes before the end of the deadline and saw some people queued up and reviewing the information.
Khot says that, for a whole year, he kept on working on the task and has finally submitted five applications, seeking business licenses to open dispensaries in five different locations, including Bartlett, St. Charles, Arlington Heights, Naperville and Schaumburg.
He had to perform hectic tasks, especially, during the preceding couple of weeks. As the task was not easy, he arranged a team of six to eight workers who were very helpful to him. Even then, he had to work for the consecutive three days, while sleeping for only an hour or so during the night.
As he further says, on average, each of his five applications had around 400 pages. When he had gone through all the aspects of his applications, he considered them to be complete and expected that the applications would be reviewed blindly by the state, but it was not so. So, he had to work for two more days to compile the information and make the photocopies of all of his applications.
He is quite optimistic that soon the licenses will be issued by the state.
He explains that, with a hope to set up marijuana business, the license seekers are spending money without any income. While expressing his hope that the process will be completed within two to three months, he also shows concern about the patients waiting for the ultimate launch of the program.