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Conditional cannabis dispensary licenses

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will be conducting its next lottery round of cannabis dispensary social equity licenses. IDFPR will be accepting applications for 55 additional conditional cannabis dispensary licenses. Applications for the lottery will be accepted starting January 30, 2023. At this time, IDFPR anticipates accepting applications through Friday, April 21, 2023.

See a list of the current holders of a Conditional License

Conditional licenses 

Conditional licenses are given before adult use dispensing organization licenses. Once you get a conditional license, you must go through other steps before you can transition into an adult use licensee. For more information, see the IDFPR's "Next steps for conditional adult use dispensing organization license holders."

Please note that you are not allowed to purchase or sell cannabis with a conditional license. You must have an adult use dispensing organization license in order to acquire, dispense, and sell cannabis. This includes registered medical cannabis organizations.

The Pritzker Administration wants the cannabis industry to reflect the diversity of Illinois. Applicants must meet social equity criteria before a conditional license is issued. To check if your address is within a census tract that qualifies for one of the social equity criteria, you can use an interactive map created by IDFPR.

Conditional license applications

Please review the rules and the mock application before applying. There is also a proposed timeline that breaks down the lottery process.

Applications will be submitted online through IDFPR's website. Applicants must register as a business and provide certain information, including:

  • The name of the organization,
  • The name of the person filling out the application,
  • The BLS region where the applicant is applying,
  • The list of principal officers and their SSN, address, birth dates, phone numbers, and email addresses, 
  • Contact information, 
  • A $250 fee, and 
  • An acknowledgment that they will prove social equity eligibility. 

The 17 BLS regions in Illinois are: 

  • Bloomington, 
  • Cape Girardeau, 
  • Carbondale-Marion, 
  • Champaign-Urbana, 
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, 
  • Danville, 
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, 
  • Decatur, 
  • Kankakee, 
  • Peoria, 
  • Rockford, 
  • St. Louis, 
  • Springfield, 
  • Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan area, 
  • West Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area, 
  • East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area, and 
  • South Illinois nonmetropolitan area.

One license will be issued to each of the 17 BLS regions as a result of the lottery except:

  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin which will have 36, 
  • St. Louis which will have 3, and 
  • Peoria which will have 2. 

Lottery process

After submitting your application and fee, you will receive a unique number and receipt. Once the application window closes, IDFPR plans to follow these steps:

  1. IDFPR will post the list of applicants that can participate in the lottery
    • You have 5 days to contest if you believe you were not included on the list
  2. IDFPR and the Illinois Lottery will conduct a lottery. The 55 top participants across the 17 BLS regions will continue through the process
  3. If you are selected as a top participant, you will have 45 days to submit proof of your social equity status and operational requirements
  4. IDFPR will review the documents submitted by the top participants
  5. If IDFPR cannot determine if you are eligible after reviewing your documentation, they will send you a deficiency notice
    • If you get a deficiency notice, you have 10 days to correct it
    • If you cannot correct a deficiency, IDFPR will deny you a license and move to the next top participant from the lottery in that BLS Region
  6. If IDFPR approves you, it'll issue you a conditional license. 

For more information about these steps, review the steps for social equity criteria lottery.

Where do I apply?

You can apply for a conditional license through IDFPR’s online portal

Can I sell cannabis if I have a conditional license?

No. A conditional license does not allow you to sell cannabis. After you get a conditional license, you may start the process of building out your dispensary and getting approval from IDFPR to operate a fully functional Adult Use Dispensary. For more information about that process, see the IDFPR's "Next steps for conditional adult use dispensing organization license holders."

Need Help?

For updates and more information visit IDFPR’s Adult Use Cannabis Program webpage.

For answers to frequently asked questions, see the Social Equity Criteria Lottery FAQs

Last full review by a subject matter expert
December 21, 2022
Last revised by staff
February 27, 2023

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