Green Thumb Industries has announced its Illinois Social Equity License Application Assistance Program (LEAP), which will help educate applicants about the adult-use cannabis business application process and prepare them to apply for the available categories of licenses. Beginning September 4, 2019, GTI will host weekly office hours with its in-house license application team for private consultation and group sessions every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at its headquarters office in Chicago.
“At GTI, we believe it is part of our corporate responsibility to help reduce barriers to cannabis business ownership for minorities and others most impacted by the war on drugs,” says GTI Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Dina Rollman. “Our application assistance program was created to provide guidance to those looking to enter this highly competitive industry and we look forward to serving as a resource to applicants that qualify as Illinois Social Equity Applicants. GTI has a long history of winning licenses and our team is excited to share our lessons learned and best practices with a new generation of business owners in this burgeoning industry.”
GTI application experts will provide start-up guidance to applicants regarding real estate selection and the required application content. They will also advise on accessing the Cannabis Business Development Fund’s low-interest loans and grants for Social Equity Applicants and on obtaining application fee waivers.
According to them, these services will be provided for free and GTI will not seek any type of fee, ownership or remuneration in exchange for its services. All information shared with GTI will remain confidential.
To be considered a Social Equity Applicant under the law, an applicant must be an Illinois resident and meet one of the following criteria (as defined in the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act):
- an applicant with at least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals who have resided for at least 5 of the preceding 10 years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area;
- an applicant with at least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals who: (i) have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any offense that is eligible for expungement under this Act; or (ii) is a member of an impacted family;
- for applicants with a minimum of 10 full-time employees, an applicant with at least 51% of current employees who: (i) currently reside in a Disproportionately Impacted Area; or (ii) have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any offense that is eligible for expungement under this Act or member of an impacted family.