The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) started the application process for cannabis infuser, transporter and craft grower licenses as prescribed in law legalizing cannabis. Applications are available online.

IDOA will begin accepting completed applications Feb. 14. All infuser, transporter and craft grower license applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. March 16.

Applicants who qualify as social equity applicants will receive additional points on their application and are eligible to receive technical assistance, grants, low-interest loans, and fee reductions and waivers.

“We take seriously the responsibilities placed on the department and look forward to the opportunities this new industry provides for Illinois,” said Agriculture Director John Sullivan.

In coordination with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, IDOA will host workshops across the state to answer questions and assist applicants. Information about the workshops will be available in the coming weeks.

“These craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses are vital to the success of Illinois’ emerging cannabis industry,” said Jeff Cox, bureau chief of medicinal plants at IDOA. “We will ensure each of these licenses is selected through a fair, unbiased and anonymous process.”

A $5,000 nonrefundable application fee applies to all licenses. Social equity applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver if they meet certain income and ownership limits, in which case the application fee would be $2,500.

If selected, an annual craft grower license fee will be $40,000, annual transporter license fee will be $10,000 and annual infuser license fee will be $5,000. All licensing fees are reduced by 50 percent for social equity applicants.

For 2020, IDOA may issue up to 40 craft grower licenses, 40 infuser licenses and an unlimited number of transporter licenses. Licenses will be awarded by July 1.