By: Scott F. Roberts
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COVID-19 and Illinois Dispensaries: Update on Employment and Dispensing License Determinations
The latest executive order from Governor JB Pritzker has mixed things up a bit for Illinois cannabis businesses, but in a good way. Medical and recreational cannabis facilities have been considered an essential function since COVID-19 stay at home orders first came into effect. However, the regulations which all cannabis facilities must follow have basically stayed the same, thus placing a strain on business owners who have sick or at-risk employees. While being an essential function does allow many businesses to keep their doors open, it also means keeping employees safe and healthy. This has forced several dispensing facilities to need new employees, but with state departments closed owners have found themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Executive order 2020-34 now grants employees of cannabis dispensing organizations the ability to work in the facility prior to possessing the required agent identification card. Typically, this card is a statutory requirement for all employees to possess prior to starting any job within a cannabis facility.
Now, new employees will only be required to provide written confirmation from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) stating that the new employee has submitted a complete application to the department. This writing shall qualify the new employee to work at a dispensing facility as long as the employee is not a principal officer or an agent in charge, such as a manager. Illinois Cannabis Attorneys believe easing up on this specific regulation will help dispensing organizations get employees to work faster than ever, which will in-turn, help more patients and customers receive products.
The executive order has also extended the deadline given to IDFPR to issue new licenses. Prior to COVID-19, the department was required to issue up to 75 Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses prior to May 1, 2020. This date has come and gone with the department unable to grant licenses to applicants. At this time no new date has been provided for when these licenses may be dispersed. Illinois Cannabis Attorneys will provide updated information regarding the new license issuing deadline once more information is made available.
Mr. Roberts is the founder and managing member of Scott Roberts Law, a Detroit-based Cannabis Business Law Firm founded in 2014. Scott has spent his entire career representing businesses and helping them comply with municipal, state and local regulations, as well as assisting on transactional corporate and real estate matters. Scott is an accomplished attorney, author and public speaker, having spoke at CannaCon, Cannabis Industrial Marketplace, CannabisAid, and 420 Canna Expo, to name a few. He has also taught Continuing Legal Education on Marijuana business matters, meaning other attorneys see him speak to learn about the nuances of cannabis business law.