Illinois is whittling down the more than 370 applications submitted to operate medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries.
Licenses could be awarded before the end of the year.
If the state determines there are no qualified proposals in a district, there will be a second round of applications.
The majority of the applications won't be approved. Illinois will only allow up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries. For those who lose out, it will be costly.
To apply to open a dispensary, applicants had to pay a $5,000 fee. Cultivation center applicants paid a $25,000 fee. Both are non-refundable.
Norm Sims, Executive Director of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission, said there's a risk with applying.
“One of the things I think the public doesn't understand is that this is a pilot program. It could end four years from January of this year, depending on what the General Assembly wants to do,” he said.
Local governments have little say on where the dispensaries will be located.