Illinois officials authorized 26 businesses to provide health and safety training to recreational marijuana retailers, including existing medical cannabis operators, in advance of the adult-use program launch on Jan. 1.
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the list of “responsible vendors.”
A statement from the agency said “at least half” the approved providers are minority-owned.
Many are based in Illinois, while others are from Florida, Iowa and Texas.
Small amounts of recreational marijuana products will be available starting Jan. 1, with existing licensed MMJ businesses getting the first crack at operating retail stores.
Regulators recently awarded the first five licenses.
Operators of retail outlets must be trained on properly dispensing cannabis, checking buyers’ identification, identifying signs of impairment because of marijuana use and other health and security concerns.
Existing medical cannabis outlets must receive the training by Nov. 30.
Marijuana Business Daily projects that the Illinois adult-use market could generate up to $2.5 billion in annual sales when it matures.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily