Illinois’s Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act creates a special license for businesses and organizations looking to transport cannabis on behalf of a cannabis business establishment.

Under Section 40-5 of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, transporting organizations are licensed by the Department of Agriculture..

Important dates for transporting organizations under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act:

Licenses will issue no later than July 1, 2020 and the application for transporting organizations is to be made available January 7, 2020 with applications due March 15, 2020.

The Application requires:

  • A non-refundable fee of $5,000 (then another $10,000 if an organization is awarded a license).
  • Identifying information – name, address (if an address is proposed), personal information for principal officers and board members (ssn, criminal and civil legal history) and background checks.
  • Copy of the company bylaws with procedures for oversight of the organization, recordkeeping, staffing, security plans.
  • Copy of the zoning ordinance or a permit and proof the organization is in compliance with the zoning rules and distance limitations of the local jurisdiction.
  • Information on history or experience in business practices that promote economic empowerment in disproportionately impacted areas and other information on history in similar industries or security businesses.
  • Equipment list.

You can find the full list at Section 40-10.  The department will rank applications by awarding points based on criteria similar to the other licenses available under the Act with points for clarity, organization and items like environmental plans, control by Illinois residents, diversity plans and social equity issues.

Unlike the other licenses, which are limited, an applicant that scores at least 85% of the available points will receive a license.

Inventory and recordkeeping requirements as well as restrictions on the licensees to which a transporting organization can deliver cannabis in Illinois are listed at Section 40-25 along with other issues like the inspection rights of the department, age requirements (you need to be over 21), delivery issues – you can’t have non-agents in the vehicle while transporting; your vehicle cannot have a weight rating of over 10,001 pounds; you must transport in an anonymous fashion so no one can tell that you are transporting cannabis through markings or logos on the vehicle; transportation must be in a closed, clocked storage compartment that is secured or affixed to the vehicle.

Importantly, the same incentivizing limitations on “of value” practices apply to transporters as to others, so offering dispensaries money, gifts or other items to obtain preferential placement (shelving, display, website) for cannabis products.

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