Building a Cannabis Dispensary in Illinois

Illinois Cannabis Legal Status: Medical and Recreational Sales are Legal

After a few years of a successful medical cannabis program, Illinois started adult use cannabis in January, 2020.

There is one primary governing body of Illinois cannabis: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR). Construction is governed by the local municipal building department.

Building Code

Building a dispensary in Illinois is subject to both local municipal building inspections, which follows the universal building code and also final inspections by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR).

The final Illinois cannabis building inspections are done through the local municipal building department but operation approval also must pass inspection by the IDFPR. Local building inspectors will inspect that all building code requirements and standard life safety items have been satisfactorily met in the cannabis dispensary and the IDFPR will inspect that the dispensary-specific requirements have been met such as proper surveillance, online monitoring, and required vault construction among other items.

There are sixty (60) cannabis dispensing districts in Illinois, broken down as follows:

Outside of the Chicago metro area, there are 22 cannabis dispensary districts:

    1. A)  Illinois State Police Districts 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 shall each be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration each.
    2. B)  Illinois State Police Districts 8, 9, 10, 11 and 16 shall each be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations each.

That part of Illinois within the Chicago metropolitan area but outside of Cook County is allocated 14 cannabis dispensary districts broken down by County as follows:

    1. A)  DeKalb County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
    2. B)  DuPage County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated three registrations.
    3. C)  Grundy and Kendall Counties combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
    4. D)  Kane County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.
    5. E)  Lake County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated three registrations.
    6. F)  McHenry County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
    7. G)  Will County shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated three registrations.

The  part of Cook County outside of the City of Chicago is allocated to 11 cannabis dispensary districts  as follows:

  1. A)  Barrington, Hanover and Palatine Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  2. B)  Elk Grove and Schaumburg Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  3. C)  Maine and Wheeling Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  4. D)  New Trier and Northfield Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  5. E)  Evanston and Niles Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  6. F)  Leyden, Norwood Park and Proviso Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  7. G)  Berwyn, Cicero, Oak Park, River Forest and Riverside Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  8. H)  Lemont, Lyons and Palos Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  9. I)  Calumet, Stickney and Worth Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  10. J)  Bremen, Orland and Rich Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  11. K) Bloom and Thornton Townships combined shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.

The City of Chicago proper has 13 cannabis dispensary districts as follows:

  1. A)  Jefferson Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.
  2. B)  Hyde Park Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.
  3. C)  Lake Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.
  4. D)  Lakeview Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.
  5. E)  North Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  6. F)  Rogers Park Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  7. G)  South Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.
  8. H)  West Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations.

Security Requirements

Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Video Surveillance:

  • Cameras must continuously record for 24 hrs and be available in real time.
  • Recordings shall not be destroyed or altered and retained for at least 90 days.
  • A date and time stamp embedded on al l video surveillance recordings. The date and time shall be synchronized and set correctly and shall not significantly obscure the picture.
  • Surveillance system must have capability to produce a still photo from any camera image either live or recorded and must have printer onsite.
  • System must immediately notify the licensee of any equipment failure or system outage within 5 minutes of the event.
  • Archive video recordings in format that ensures authentication of legitimately captured video and guarantees that no alterations of the video has taken place.
  • The cameras shall be angled/directed so all areas are captured, including, but not limited to; safes, vaults, sales areas and areas where cannabis is stored, handled, dispensed or destroyed. Outside areas include store front, & parking lot.
  • Camera must show POS and capture the sale, the individuals and the computer monitors used for the sale.
  • Cameras shall be angled to allow for facial recognition, the capture of clear and certain identification of any person entering or exiting the dispensary area & in lighting sufficient during all times of night or day.
  • All monitors must be 19-inches or greater.
  • Sufficient battery backup for video cameras and recording equipment to support recording in the event of a power outage.

Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Security Requirements:

  • Must have fully operational security alarm system on a ll entry/exit points, and perimeter windows
  • Must be programmed to notify a monitoring center in the event of a breach
  • A duress alarm, panic button and alarm, holdup alarm or after hour s intrusion detection alarm that by design and purpose will directly or indirectly notify, by the most efficient means, the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction

Illinois Cannabis Dispensary Vault and Storage Requirements

Vault:

The walls, floors, and ceilings of the vault are typically constructed of at least eight (8) inches of reinforced concrete or other substantial masonry, reinforced vertically and horizontally with one-half (1⁄2) inch steel rods tied six (6) inches on center, or the structural equivalent to such reinforced walls, floors, and ceilings. Alternate methods of metal stud framing and barrier mesh is allowed under certain circumstances. 

The door and frame unit of which vault shall have thirty (30) man-minutes against surreptitious entry, ten (10) man- minutes against forced entry, twenty (20) man-hours against lock manipulation, and twenty (20) man-hours against radiological techniques;

The vault, if operations require it to remain open for frequent access, shall be equipped with a “day-gate” which is self-closing and self-locking, or the equivalent, for use during the hours of operation in which the vault door is open

Storage:

Authorized on-premises storage. A dispensing organization must store inventory on its premises. All inventory stored on the premises must be secured in a restricted access area and tracked consistently with the inventory tracking rules. 

A dispensary shall be of suitable size and construction to facilitate cleaning, maintenance, and proper operations. 

A dispensary shall maintain adequate lighting, ventilation, temperature, humidity control, and equipment. 

Containers storing cannabis that have been tampered with, damaged, or opened shall be labeled with the date opened and quarantined from other cannabis products in the vault until they are disposed. 

Cannabis that was tampered with, expired, or damaged shall not be stored at the premises for more than 7 calendar days. 

Cannabis samples shall be in a sealed container. Samples shall be maintained in the restricted access area. 

The dispensary storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with the security requirements in this Act and rules. 

Cannabis must be stored at appropriate temperatures and under appropriate conditions to help ensure that its packaging, strength, quality, and purity are not adversely affected.

Zoning Law

The dispensary must not be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of a pre-existing public or private preschool or elementary or secondary school or day care center, day care home, group day care home or part day child care facility.

The dispensary must not be in an area zoned for residential use and identify the existing adjacent businesses. For purposes of this subsection (a)(19), “pre-existing” means existing as of the date the proposed dispensing organization submitted its application to the Division.

Illinois Cannabis
Trade Associations

Cannabis Business Association of Illinois (CannaBizIL)

“The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois (CannaBizIL) was established in 2015. It’s a non profit statewide association that supports not only cannabis licensed businesses but also ancillary businesses as well.”

Contact email for the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois:

info@cbail.org

Cannabis News – Active Dispensaries

Addison

EarthMed 852 South Westgate Addison, Illinois 60101 (630) 607-0796

Mindful Dispensary 1433 W Fullerton Avenue, Unit C, Addison, Illinois 60101 (630) 519-1300

Anna

Thrive Anna 87 Richview Drive Anna, Illinois 62906 (618) 715-0887

Arlington Heights

Verilife 1816 S. Arlington Heights Rd. Arlington Heights, IL 60005 (847) 755-2992

Aurora

Verilife 161 S. Lincolnway St, Suite 301 North Aurora, Illinois 60542 (630) 264-0890

Buffalo Grove

Sunnyside 830 N. Milwaukee Ave. Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089 (847) 495-2397

Canton

Rise – Canton 3104 N. Main Street Canton, Illinois 61520 (309) 647-9333

Champaign

Sunnyside 1704 S. Neil Street, Suite C Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 441-2076

Chicago

Midway Dispensary 5648 S. Archer Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60638 (872) 267-7038

Dispensary 33 5001 N. Clark Street Chicago, Illinois 60640 (312) 620-3333

MOCA | Modern Cannabis 2847 W. Fullerton Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60647 (773) 722-6622

Maribis of Chicago 4570 S. Archer Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60632 (773) 940-2216

Columbia Care IL 4758 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60630 (312) 948-9082

Consume: Chicago 6428 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60631 (872) 304-3113

Sunnyside 3812 N. Clark Street Chicago, Illinois 60613 (773) 698-8182

The Herbal Care Center 1301 S. Western Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60608 (773) 724-4200 

Mission Illinois 8554 S. Commercial Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60617 (773) 530-0088

GreenGate Chicago 7305 N. Rogers Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60626 (773) 516-4007

NuEra Chicago 1308 W. North Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60642 (773) 687-8480

Collinsville

Ascend 1014 Eastport Plaza Drive Collinsville, Illinois 62234 (618) 381-9229

Deerfield

Greenhouse Group 151 Pfingsten Road, Unit V Deerfield, Illinois 60015 (847) 686-2821

Elmwood Park

Sunnyside 7955 W. Grand Avenue Elmwood Park, Illinois 60707 (708) 452-7688

East Grandview

Maribis of Springfield 2272 North Grand Avenue East Grandview, Illinois 62702 (888) 888-0217

Effingham

Rise – Effingham 1011 Ford Avenue, Suite C Effingham, Illinois 62401 (217) 727-7715

Evanston

MedMen Evanston 1804 Maple Avenue Evanston, Illinois 60201 (224) 278-9988

Fulton

The Dispensary 1801 16th Avenue, Suite 1 Fulton, Illinois 61252 (815) 208-7701

Harrisburg

Thrive Harrisburg 105 N. Veterans Drive Harrisburg, Illinois 62946 (618) 715-0882

Highland Park

Elevele 1460 Old Skokie Rd, Unit A Highland Park, Illinois 60035 (847) 780-3942

Homewood

Windy City Cannabis 1137 W. 175th Street Homewood, Illinois 60430 (312) 874-7040

Joliet

Rise – Joliet 1627 Rock Creek Boulevard Joliet, Illinois 60431 (815) 773-9300

Justice

Windy City Cannabis 8340 S. Roberts Road Justice, Illinois 60458 (312) 874-7040

Litchfield

Greenhouse Compass 719 W. Union Avenue Litchfield, Illinois 62056 (217) 253-8883

Marion

Harbory 8195 Express Drive Marion, Illinois 62959 (618) 969-8217

Milan

Nature’s Treatment of Illinois 973 Tech Drive Milan, Illinois 61264 (309) 283-7642

Mokena

Greenhouse Group 9930 W. 190th Street, Unit H Mokena, Illinois 60448 (708) 258-1141

Morris

Greenhouse Group 2400 W. US Route 6 Morris, Illinois 60450 (815) 513-0124

Mount Prospect

New Age Care 2015 E Euclid Avenue Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056 (224) 801-2015

Mundelein

Rise – Mundelein 1325 Armour Boulevard Mundelein, Illinois 60060 (847) 616-8966

Naperville

Rise – Naperville 1700 Quincy Avenue, Unit 103 Naperville, Illinois 60540 (630) 369-4000

Normal

Beyond/Hello 501 W. Northtown Road Normal, Illinois 61761 (309) 434-5141

Oak Park

Seven Point 1132 Lake Street Oak Park, Illinois 60301 (855) 977-6468 36

Ottawa

Verilife 4104 North Columbus Street Ottawa, Illinois 61350 (815) 324-9189

Peoria

NuEra East Peoria 504 Riverside Drive East Peoria, Illinois 61611 (309) 839-1330

Trinity Compassionate Care Centers 3125 N. University, Suite B Peoria, Illinois 61604 (309) 863-2122

Posen

Windy City Cannabis 2535 Veterans Drive Posen, Illinois 60469 (312) 874-7040

Quincy

Herbal Remedies Dispensary 26 4440 Broadway Suite A Quincy, Illinois 62305 (217) 214-6337

Rockford

Mapleglen Care Center 4777 Stenstrom Road Rockford, Illinois 61109 (779) 368-5154

Sunnyside 2696 McFarland Road Rockford, Illinois 61107 (815) 314-1900

Rolling Meadows

Nature’s Care Company 975 Rohlwing Road Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008 (847) 754-4955

Romeoville

Verilife 1335 Lakeside Drive, Unit 4 Romeoville, Illinois 60446

St. Charles

Zen Leaf St. Charles 3714 Illinois Avenue, Unit C St. Charles, Illinois 60174 (630) 377-7373

Sauget

Beyond/Hello 2021 Goose Lake Road Sauget, Illinois 62206 (618) 663-4311

Springfield

Ascend 628 East Adams Street Springfield, Illinois 62701 (217) 679-3283

Maribis of Springfield Marijuana Dispensary 2272 N Grand Ave E, Grandview, IL 62702

Urbana

NuEra Urbana 105 E. University Avenue Urbana, Illinois 61801 (217) 607-2867

Worth

Windy City Cannabis 11425 South Harlem Avenue Worth, Illinois 60482 (312) 874-7040