Illinois Department of Ag issues first pre-construction permits to social equity craft grow licensees


The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) on Wednesday issued the first pre-construction permits to social equity licensees established under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which clears the way for the businesses to begin construction. The Department issued permits to Galaxy Labs, Mint Cannabis, and Star Buds Illinois.

• Galaxy Labs, located in Richton Park, is 100% Latino and Black-owned
• Mint Cannabis, located in Forest Park, is 51% Latino-owned
• Star Buds Illinois, located in Rockford, is 66% Black-owned

The cohort of craft grow licenses of which this group is a part, issued in August 2021, is 88% Social Equity by ownership and 80% identify as nonwhite.

“When Illinois legalized cannabis, it was essential that we do what no other state has done – make sure the most impacted communities benefited,” said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. “I’m pleased to see that these diverse businesses are clear to start construction, and I wish them success as this market expands.”

“The Department has worked with these licensees to become operational as they take the next step toward opening their doors,” said IDOA Director Jerry Costello. “With approval in-hand, these social equity businesses are clear to start construction, creating hundreds of jobs right here in Illinois, and further expanding the existing cannabis workforce. The Department is enthusiastic to work with these licensees as they move one step closer toward opening their doors and realizing the vision of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.  We will continue to partner with its licensees and other state partners to ensure that Illinois remains a national leader not only in a safely and efficiently-regulated cannabis production, but also in creating an inclusive industry that looks like Illinois.”

100% of the Department’s craft grow licensees are social equity applicants. The current list of licensees is available on the department’s website.



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