In Illinois, many new craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses were supposed to be issued by the Department of Agriculture on July 1, 2020. But, because of COVID-19, the issuance of those licenses has been delayed until possibly September 2020. The exact date remains uncertain.
Many potential applicants intended to qualify as a Social Equity Applicant by hiring a certain number of qualifying employees. One way to qualify as a Social Equity Applicant in Illinois is to hire a minimum of 10 full-time employees at the time of application, with at least 51% of those employees either (i) currently residing in a Disproportionately Impacted Area or (ii) having been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any offense that is eligible for expungement under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the Adult Use Act) or a member of an impacted family.
Keeping these people employed during the pandemic is difficult or impossible for some applicants because the individuals must be full-time employees at the time the applications were submitted, which were due on or before April 30, 2020.
Due to the severe economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, these applicants can now submit an Attestation form to the DOA and will no longer be required (for now) to maintain all employees that help satisfy the social equity criterion throughout the duration of the application scoring period. Specifically, the DOA “has determined that due to the unprecedented economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Applicants seeking to qualify as Social Equity Applicants under this criterion will not be required to maintain all employees that help satisfy this criterion throughout the duration of the application scoring period, so long as the Applicant executes the attached attestation.”
If the applicant is eventually awarded a license, the applicant will be required to, within 60 days of receiving the license, employ the required number of individuals with the required status to meet the statutory qualifications of a Social Equity Applicant.
If you plan to request relief of the requirement to maintain employment for qualifying individuals, the Attestation form must be submitted to AGR.ADULTUSE@Illinois.gov.