How To Work At A Dispensary In Illinois

How to get licensed or badged to work in the cannabis industry in your state:
Shape of Illinois

Cannabis Licensing in Illinois

Adult Use:
Hiring Timeline:
Not Specified

Cannabis Job Market Overview:

In 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Within their first month of legal sales in January 2020, Illinois earned nearly $40M in revenue. BDSA predicted that the Illinois market would reach $1.5 billion by 2025, but it hit that number in the 2022 fiscal year — meaning $445 million in tax revenue for the state.

Cannabis Job Requirements & Application Process:

In Illinois, any person involved in the handling of legal cannabis is called an "agent" and must have an Agent Identification Card. The two most common IDs for Vangst workers are the Cultivation Center Agent Identification Card and the Dispensing Organization Agent Identification Card.

Cultivation IDs are issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, while dispensary IDs are issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Applications for agent cards must be submitted by cannabis companies themselves, and not individuals.

Cultivation Requirements:

Dispensary Requirements

  • Agents in Charge or Principal Officers must submit an application for a new agent ID
  • New agents must already be employed by the company submitting the application
  • Agents must be 21 years of age or older
  • Required documentation can be found here and includes a square headshot photo, proof of background check, two proof of residence documents, government-issued proof of identity, sworn attestations, copies of police reports for any prior arrests, and a $100 application fee
  • New agents must complete Illinois Responsible Vendor Training within 90 days of employment. Here's a list of state-approved training vendors.
  • Late fees are $50
Cannabis Job Background Check Requirements:

“Applicants for an Adult Use Cannabis Dispensing Agent Identification Card must have a fingerprint-based criminal history record information background check.”

  • Dispensary workers must complete this Fingerprint Consent Form, while cultivation workers must complete the form found on the last page here.
  • Any answers regarding criminal history disclosed on the Attestation Form must match the results of your fingerprint-based criminal history record and background check
Additional Links:
  • Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act — Cultivation
  • Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act — Dispensaries
Additional Job & Salary Information:

2022 Salary Guide

2023 Jobs Report

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