Skip to main content



The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is responsible for cannabis licensing in Illinois. They utilize a lottery system for prospective dispensaries looking to obtain a license.

Currently, the IDFPR is not accepting new applications for adult-use dispensing organization licenses. The first-round application window has closed, and the first 75 licenses are to be issued in the fall of 2020. For a regular (non-Social Equity) applicant, there is a non-refundable application fee of $5000. If approved, the cost for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License is $60,000 for 2 years.

For applicants who meet the Social Equity criteria, the application fee is $2,500, and the cost of an approved 2-year license is $30,0000.

Contact PayRio today for more information on how our services can meet the processing needs of your Illinois cannabusiness


In 1931, Illinois became one of the first states in the United States to ban the recreational use of cannabis, even before a national ban was implemented. The negative perception of marijuana began to shift in the 1960s.

Illinois has a relatively recent history of cannabis legalization. The state first legalized medical marijuana in 2013, allowing patients with qualifying medical conditions to use and possess cannabis for medical purposes. In June 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, or up to 500 milligrams of THC in products such as edibles.

Retail sales of recreational marijuana began on the same day the law went into effect, and the state has generated significant tax revenue from cannabis sales. Additionally, the law includes provisions for social equity in the cannabis industry, such as prioritizing licenses for those from communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Overall, Illinois has taken steps towards cannabis legalization and regulation, allowing for both medical and recreational use while also promoting social equity in the industry.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.