- Dec 2019
There is created in the State treasury a special fund, which shall be held separate and apart from all other State moneys, to be known as the Cannabis Business Development Fund. The Cannabis Business Development Fund shall be exclusively used for the following purposes: (1) to provide low-interest rate loans to Qualified Social Equity Applicants to pay for ordinary and necessary expenses to start and operate a cannabis business establishment permitted by this Act; (2) to provide grants to Qualified Social Equity Applicants to pay for ordinary and necessary expenses to start and operate a cannabis business establishment permitted by this Act; (3) to compensate the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for any costs related to the provision of low-interest loans and grants to Qualified Social Equity Applicants; (4) to pay for outreach that may be provided or targeted to attract and support Social Equity Applicants and Qualified Social Equity Applicants; (5) (blank); (6) to conduct any study or research concerning the participation of minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities in the cannabis industry, including, without limitation, barriers to such individuals entering the industry as equity owners of cannabis business establishments; (7) (blank); and (8) to assist with job training and technical assistance for residents in Disproportionately Impacted Areas.
The Cannabis Business Development Fund is a unique aspect of Illinois' marijuana law establishing a fund to be exclusively used for providing low interest loans and grants for qualified social equity applicants designed to help them start and operate a business.
Funds will also go towards advertisement to attract applicants, conduct research on participation numbers and assistance with job training.
The fund will hold money collected from early approval licenses issued before January 2021 and from license transfers from qualified social equity applicants.
An additional $12 million dollars is in the fund from medicinal pilot program.
The funds can not be transferred from the fund, according to the law.
Sec. 7-25. Transfer of license awarded to Qualified Social Equity Applicant. (a) In the event a Qualified Social Equity Applicant seeks to transfer, sell, or grant a cannabis business establishment license within 5 years after it was issued to a person or entity that does not qualify as a Social Equity Applicant, the transfer agreement shall require the new license holder to pay the Cannabis Business Development Fund an amount equal to: (1) any fees that were waived by any State agency based on the applicant's status as a Social Equity Applicant, if applicable; (2) any outstanding amount owed by the Qualified Social Equity Applicant for a loan through the Cannabis Business Development Fund, if applicable; and (3) the full amount of any grants that the Qualified Social Equity Applicant received from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, if applicable. (b) Transfers of cannabis business establishment licenses awarded to a Social Equity Applicant are subject to all other provisions of this Act, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, and rules regarding transfers. (Source: P.A. 101-27, eff. 6-25-19; 101-593, eff. 12-4-19.)
All fees waived for qualified social equity applicants must be paid back before the license can be transferred to a new license holder. That money would go towards the Cannabis Business Development Fund.