Who is eligible?
Green Thumb developed LEAP to serve as a resource for SEAs looking to enter Illinois’ highly competitive regulated cannabis industry through the license application process. LEAP services are provided completely free of charge and available to all Illinois Social Equity Applicants (SEAs) as defined by the Illinois Cannabis Regulations and Tax Act; however, the program is not available to current employees of Green Thumb or its subsidiaries.
Phase 1: Round One Application Assistance
Applying lessons and best practices learned on Green Thumb’s own road to success with competitive license applications, the LEAP team provided a variety of pro bono application assistance to dispensary, craft grower, infuser, and transporter applicants through a variety of channels.
- Private Consultations and Ongoing Communication
- Each week Green Thumb’s application professionals offered 30-minute time slots for confidential one-on-one consultations. We also keep in touch with participants via frequent email blasts to share insight into newly released information, events and resources.
- Small Group Sessions
- At weekly informational sessions open to all SEAs, we explained newly released license application information, responded to frequently asked questions, and provided a networking forum for SEAs to collaborate over resources and challenges.
- Technical Guides
- Green Thumb created written application guides tailored to each license type (dispensary, craft grower, infuser, transporter). These valuable guides provide insight into the application timeline, strategy and best business practices, and are updated as appropriate.
- Tailored Presentations & Webinars
- Green Thumb’s experienced professionals and/or third parties presented hour-long information sessions focused on LEAP participants’ most frequently cited challenges, followed by Q&A. In-house and external experts volunteered their time to walk SEAs through high-priority tasks such as drafting a strong business plan, securing real estate, preparing security plans and layouts.
- Strategic Partnerships
- Green Thumb was able to leverage valuable partnerships for its LEAP applicants. This includes LEAP participant discounts and pro bono legal services from volunteer attorneys and application editing in partnership with local law schools.
With the end of the application period, Green Thumb is excited to continue its support of SEAs with LEAP’s incubator program. Our team has tapped into expertise from all of its departments (accounting, legal, real estate, marketing, and more) to craft an incubator program we believe will be a leader in launching “Round One” SEAs to success in the Illinois cannabis market. Once license winners are announced, LEAP will officially shift into Phase 2; however, license awards have been delayed due to COVID-19 and pending litigation. We will continue to update LEAP participants via email as we are notified of changes to the application and award process.
LEAP in the News
Stay informed about our social responsibility initiatives and events, as well as thought leadership and news related to the cannabis industry.
Twenty strangers squeeze into a small conference room in a River North loft on a Wednesday afternoon, anxious for tips and insights about how they, too, can get a piece of a marijuana industry that's set to explode after recreational sales become legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.