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Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis Social Equity Program

Pursuant to the Cannabis Regulation & Tax Act (“CRTA”) 410 ILCS 705, cannabis became legal for adult use in Illinois on January 1, 2020. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) mission under the CRTA is to develop accessible opportunities for technical assistance and access to capital for persons seeking to participate in the Illinois cannabis business industry, subject to appropriations from the Cannabis Business Development Fund. 

As part of these efforts, DCEO has developed a network of technical assistance providers that are available to assist social equity applicants in their quest to procure and retain a cannabis business license. Additionally, DCEO established the Social Equity Cannabis Loan Program for the purposes of providing financial assistance to social equity applicants.

Through the Illinois Cannabis Social Equity Program, DCEO is committed to connecting people and communities that have been historically impacted by arrests and imprisonment for cannabis offenses to opportunities to participate in the legal cannabis industry.

How do we support Social Equity Applicants (SEAs)?

  • Provide low-interest forgivable loans through its Social Equity Cannabis Loan Program;
  • Provide legal assistance, technical assistance, loan application support and individualized support to social equity licensees;
  • Provide access to low-interest forgivable loans for starting and operating a cannabis-related business.

Latest Updates

DCEO recently finalized the first round of its social equity loan program, which was available to craft growers, transporters, and infusers. Applications are not currently being accepted. The second round of funding will be available to qualified social equity dispensaries.

When a new funding opportunity becomes available, a link to the application materials, eligibility information, and information on available support will be provided on this webpage. We encourage interested parties to join our mailing list and check the website for updates. 

Stay in the Loop about DCEO Funding Opportunities

Join our mailing list to receive notifications and updates about upcoming DCEO funding opportunities for social equity applicants and licensees. 

Submit your contact information to us to receive email notifications.