By: Scott F. Roberts
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Illinois Cannabis Transporter License
An Illinois cannabis transport license is one of the few licenses that does not directly involve manufacturing, producing, or selling marijuana products. However, that does not mean it is any less profitable. Transporter licenses allow Illinois cannabis business to transport cannabis and cannabis-infused products on behalf of other Illinois cannabis business establishments. This license is essential due to all cannabis facilities being unable to transport product without a transporter license or working with a licensed transporter business. Basically, a transporter business is the glue that ensures the industry can function; which means a lot of money could be made.
The application process is very similar to other cannabis business establishment licenses. A $5,000 application fee is required at the time of submitting along with information about the ownership of the business, and all required plans. If you can qualify as a social equity applicant you only have to pay $2,500 when submitting.
Just like other license types, Illinois transporter business plans are scored based on points available. The breakdown of points is as follows:
- Business Plan – 180 points
- Suitability of Employee Training Plan—160 points
- Security and Recordkeeping Plan – 200 points
- Social Equity Applicant – 200 points
- Labor and Employment Practices – 20 points
- Environmental Plan – 20 points
- Illinois resident for 5 years – 100 points
- Veteran owned business – 20 points
- Diversity Plan – 100 points
Other required plans include loading, transporting, and unloading plans. Any relevant experience that an applicant has with distribution or security should be provided as well.
When in the business of transporting marijuana, anonymity is key. None of the transportation vehicles can have any logos or markings indicating what the business is or what may be contained in the vehicle. Also, the vehicle must have an enclosed, locked storage compartment that is secured or affixed to the vehicle itself. This is the only place within the vehicle where cannabis can be located. No plants of infused products should be outside of a locked storage container.
Once approved, you must pay a $10,000 license fee. Just like with the application fee, social equity applicants get this fee cut in half. Qualifying as a social equity applicant can really benefit you when applying for an Illinois cannabis license. Not only can you save money up front, but applicants also can apply for grants and loans to assist them while setting up their facility.
This license is tied to the specific entity, owner, and location provided on the application. This means that if ownership of the company is going to change or the physical location of the entity will change, the Department of Agriculture must approve it first. Specifically, when it comes to any change of ownership, Illinois’s cannabis emergency rules make it easier to sell an entire business than be add a new owner to an already existing license. Any sale of the company must still be approved by the Department prior to the parties finalizing the sale.
The Department shall issue cannabis transporter licenses no later than July 1, 2020. This would conclude the first wave of licenses. It is currently uncertain whether the Department will keep this deadline considering COVID-19 circumstances, but Illinois Cannabis Attorneys will keep you up to date on all relevant cannabis application news.
The next wave of licenses is scheduled to be approved by December 21,2021. While this may seem far away preparing to submit an Illinois cannabis application is no small task. During this waiting time Illinois Cannabis Attorneys encourages those who wish to apply to begin scheduling consultations with our office, checking out potential properties, and obtaining supporting documents for social equity or any criminal history you may have. Getting started now could mean getting approved next year.
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.