The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705/7-30) mandates the Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer (CROO) survey the Illinois cannabis industry annually to assess the diversity of the owners and employees in the industry, as well as the contractors/subcontractors working with the industry. The survey results are used to learn what barriers exist in the industry that would create challenges for anyone to enter the business market and to identify methods for reducing or eliminating any of those barriers. The CROO surveyed the industry in both 2020 and 2021 and is currently conducting the 2023 Diversity Survey.
On May 3, 2023, the CROO distributed the 2023 Diversity Survey to both firms and cannabis employees. If you believe you should have received the Diversity Survey for a cannabis business or are eligible to complete the Diversity Survey for employees, please use the “Contact Us” page to request a link.
Continuing with improved methodology from 2021, the Diversity Survey has three parts: (1) to the firms that operate the cannabis licenses at a corporate level, (2) to cannabis employees, and (3) to ancillary businesses that provide services to the licensees. The approach allows employees and contractors to self-identify their demographics and experiences. The CROO is partnering with the University of Illinois Gies School of Business to conduct the survey to be more user-friendly and usable for collecting the information.
In 2021, we received survey responses from 113 cannabis companies (100% compliance) and 4,483 employees (conservatively estimating a 40% response rate). Industry demographics from the 2020 and 2021 Diversity Surveys can be found here.
So far in 2023 (updated 7/28/2023), over 150 firms and over 2,200 employees have already completed the Diversity Survey. Stay tuned here for further updates!
Read the Diversity Survey Section - 410 ILCS 705/7-30
Sec. 7-30. Reporting. By January 1, 2021, and on January 1 of every year thereafter, or upon request by the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, each cannabis business establishment licensed under this Act and the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act shall report to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, on a form to be provided by the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, information that will allow it to assess the extent of diversity in the medical and adult use cannabis industry and methods for reducing or eliminating any identified barriers to entry, including access to capital. Failure of a cannabis business establishment to respond to the request of the Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer to complete the form, report, and any other request for information may be grounds for disciplinary action by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or the Department of Agriculture. The information to be collected shall be designed to identify the following:
(1) the number and percentage of licenses provided to Social Equity Applicants and to businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities;
(2) the total number and percentage of employees in the cannabis industry who meet the criteria in (3)(i) or (3)(ii) in the definition of Social Equity Applicant or who are minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities;
(3) the total number and percentage of contractor and subcontractors in the cannabis industry that meet the definition of a Social Equity Applicant or who are owned by minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities, if known to the cannabis business establishment; and
(4) recommendations on reducing or eliminating any identified barriers to entry, including access to capital, in the cannabis industry.
(Source: P.A. 101-27, eff. 6-25-19; 102-98, eff. 7-15-21.)