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4 Things to do after Winning an Illinois Cannabis License

September 1, 2021

For the past year, many hopeful Illinois entrepreneurs have been awaiting the awarding of conditional licenses. Now, at long last, the Illinois award process has begun, with 149 out of 185 licensees granted. Recipients now have the opportunity to enter one of the largest cannabis markets in the U.S.

With so much at stake for the winners of the Illinois cannabis license lotteries, it helps to have a gameplan in place should you be one of the lucky recipients. Let’s review what you should do after you’re awarded a license.

Review Illinois Cannabis License Regulations

The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with current Illinois cannabis regulations. Keep in mind that there are some differences in the regulations surrounding medical cannabis and adult use cannabis. Since adult-use cannabis is relatively new to Illinois, it’s important to review the new guidelines even if you’ve been awarded a medical cannabis license in the past.

BioTrack is the official Illinois seed-to-sale government traceability system. Our team knows what is required for tracking and reporting to state and local governments and can provide you with Support Documentation to help you satisfy Illinois rules and regulations.

Speaking from experience, we know that as states’ legal cannabis programs mature, the regulatory requirements can change quite frequently. It’s good practice to regularly review the rules and regulations to ensure your policies and procedures are up to date.

Most importantly, make sure that your staff is properly trained and knowledgeable about key regulations. Employees play a vital role in the overall compliance of a business and a comprehensive employee training program is imperative to safeguarding your license.

Understand Your Market

Understanding your operational environment and creating an effective go-to-market strategy is crucial for the future success of your business. As you look to become competitive in the market, there are many different factors to consider to avoid unnecessary risk.

Reduce the risk of opening a new location with Spark, our analytics solution that delivers targeted market intelligence. Spark is a consultative, data analysis service that can be used to answer any questions you might have as you go to enter the Illinois Market. Understand who are your likely customers, their preferred products and price points, and gain access to other invaluable insights via our custom analytics.

Spark provides snapshots for general understanding of your current market, market trending to help forecast manufacturing and revenues, and patient segmentation to support marketing and sales plans.

Seek Out Commercial Real Estate

With the natural uncertainty that comes with the lottery process, it’s understandable that you may not have selected a location for your actual business yet.

For recipients of Illinois Dispensary Licenses, location selection is a key component to your business’ success. Many factors come into play when selecting the right location, but an experienced commercial real estate agent should be able to guide you through the process and understand the unique requirements associated with operating a successful dispensary. You can also use Spark to help you pick the optimal location based on real market data, such as historical sales and basket analysis

As of July 2022, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has given each new licensee a period of 180 days after winning a lottery license to secure a storefront location. There is an option of receiving an additional 180-day extension. Illinois Cultivation License winners have a specific set of requirements for choosing operational space.

Select the Right Software Partner

The primary focus of every business decision you make in the cannabis industry should take into consideration one thing above all else; compliance. Adherence to Illinois regulatory requirements is crucial to avoiding hefty fines and keeping your cannabis license in good standing. The software system that you choose to help you run your business has to be built with a focus on compliance.

For dispensaries, this should include sales limits, customizable inventory tracking and hardware integrations, while cultivators should focus on tracking plants through the various stages and plant lineage identification in case of recalls.

When vetting vendors, make sure you are partnering with companies with a proven track record in the industry. Price should not be the only factor in your decision making. You should also consider stability, experience in the state, etc.

Considering these, BioTrack is the perfect choice for any budding cannabis business in Illinois.  BioTrack is the leader in seed-to-sale tracking solutions designed specifically for the cannabis industry. We offer a comprehensive suite of business tools that give you everything you need to run and control your cannabis business operation. Our commercial system fully integrates with our state traceability system, helps with inventory management, provides in-depth business reporting, and more.

The Takeaway

Being awarded a cannabis business license is a big win, especially in a state as competitive as Illinois. Once the initial celebration of winning a license is over, however, is when the real work begins.

The decisions that you make early on will play a key role in the success of the business and its critical to align yourself with the right industry partners.

So, if you’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded a license, let us be among the first to congratulate you. Let the experts at BioTrack help you run an efficient and compliant cannabis business.

Want to learn more about how you can make the most of your Illinois cannabis license? Reach out today for a demo of the BioTrack software!