Marijuana Business Licensing in Illinois

On January 1, 2020, marijuana will be legal for adult use in Illinois. While residents and neighbors of Illinois may be counting the days, dispensaries and growers are trying to plan for demand.

“…55 existing stores will have to meet the demands of a 13 million-person state with a massive tourist population.” [1]

The current medical cannabis structure serves roughly 70,000 residents. Even if only a quarter of the population decides to partake in the newly legal activity, that’s an additional 3.18 million people. That number doesn’t consider tourists (and/or neighbors to Illinois).

“…our tourism industry welcomes more than 110 million visitors per year, who spend billions of dollars annually.” – Illinois Office of Tourism [2]

What does this mean for entrepreneurs looking to open their own

As a premier partner of Total Harvest Coverage (THC360) we help leading cannabis entrepreneurs and businesses with security plans and integration to stay compliant.

marijuana growing, cultivation, processing or Illinois dispensary business?

Businesses currently operating under a medical marijuana license are going to be able to remain in operation and sell recreational cannabis. These existing businesses are also granted an additional location under their current license.


Security Plans & Architectural Planning

Success in the cannabis market depends on a solid business plan & security plan that is designed to maintain compliance, meet regulatory standards and optimize business operations. Leading cannabis companies utilize the Total Harvest Coverage method to plan, grow and scale their business security.

Applications for new dispensaries are due no later than January 1, 2020. Illinois has until May 1, 2020 to either approve or deny an application. The license awarded from this round is conditional or a pre-license. An establishment must then pass inspection and pay all fees to receive their final licensing to sell marijuana product.

“Non-Social Equity Applicants will pay a $5,000 application fee. Should they be awarded a license, the fee for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License is $60,000 for a two-year license. Social Equity Applicants will pay a $2,500 application fee. Should they be awarded a license, the fee for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License is $30,000 for a two-year license.” [3]

Applicants should begin collaborating with industry consultants now to ensure construction of the dispensary occurs quickly and efficiently. Detailed plans for every facet of the business are required within the conditional application, and must be adhered to during implementation. This is where industry experts come into play.

KL Security has successfully developed and implemented security measures for multiple marijuana dispensaries and secure cannabis facilities in multiple states. Our security experts are knowledgeable and eager to assist your business in developing a one of a kind plan to best suit your needs, learn more about Security Plans and cannabis facility design 

ArmorStor™ MJ7840D Controlled Substance Vault Door with Day Gate   Our Vault Doors are manufactured to meet GSA Approved Class 5 Ratings and in their native form are used by the US Government for the storage of Classified Information as well as items such as weapons, ammunition, narcotics, etc.  The sale of the standard doors is restricted however, to only the US Government and Military.  GSA now allows us to market the exact same door, without the GSA Approved Label, to the private sector. 

Restricted Access Approved Vaults

Prevent diversion, theft or loss of medical marijuana at a dispensary with UL Class 1 rated vaults. Our modular vaults are a fraction of the cost of a poured concrete vault and are fully scalable to your business growth. These vaults are in place in multiple states for DEA or pharmacy board approved applications.

Access Control & Entry Doors

BR Glass for retail dispensary locations and safety, we have you covered.

Locking entry door barriers for secure rooms and limited access for key employees that can be monitored with video surveillance to meet any potential codes for cannabis dispensaries and retail marijuana locations.


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[1] Krane, Kris. (2019, June 25). Forbes Magazine. Illinois Legalization Is Historic, But Good Luck Finding Cannabis To Buy. Retrieved from:



DEA Rules, security requirements and regulations per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR1301.72

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

All license information found at the website for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation: