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US (IL): Applicants for new cannabis licenses nearly triple thanks to rules overhaul

Nearly 3,000 applicants will be competing in next month's lottery for 55 new licenses to sell cannabis in Illinois.

That's almost three times the number of applicants that competed for the 185 licenses that were up for grabs in lotteries held two years ago.

The state recently overhauled the original licensing process, making it easier and cheaper to seek a dispensary license. The process was marked by delays, litigation, and frustration among both those who created the law and those who hoped to benefit from it.

Under the new rules, gone are the lengthy applications that required extensive business plans, covering everything from security to operations, which ran thousands of pages and cost many applicants thousands of dollars to complete. The cost to submit an application also dropped from $2,500 to $250.

Perhaps the biggest change is allowing only one application per applicant, leveling the playing field and increasing the number of people or groups who would receive licenses. In the previous lotteries, 937 applicants who submitted 4,000 applications competed for 185 licenses. Under the new criteria, about 2,700 applicants will compete for 55 licenses.

Read the entire story at Crain's Chicago Business 

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