Illinois Social Equity

The future of a thriving,
equity-centric industry

As individual states are working to create broader access to the cannabis industry, all eyes are on Illinois. We are doing something that has never been done before, and the model we are establishing in Illinois has the power to become the new standard across the country.

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Department of Commerce and economic Opportunity

Cannabis Business Development Fund in partnership with the State of Illinois' DCEO

Good Tree Capital has been selected to participate in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Cannabis Social Equity Loan Program.

This $30 million dollar fund will provide low-interest loans to social equity licensees within the State of Illinois.

Good Tree Capital was selected to deploy this capital with the State due to our strong track-record of identifying credit-worthy companies, working with the State to support social equity initiatives within the industry, and providing access to capital that is equitable, unbiased, and fair.

Composition of Illinois state seal, cannabis icon, store icon, Good Tree Capital iconComposition of Illinois state seal, cannabis icon, store icon, Good Tree Capital icon

Good Tree Capital
was born

We launched our borrower platform in 2017 to solve for a billion-dollar debt financing supply gap for small business lending in cannabis. With access to capital being the #1 barrier to entry for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs, we used our technology to provide loans, and financial empowerment, to borrowers in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, and Massachusetts.

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We set our sights on Illinois

When legislation for cannabis legalization was announced, we sought to ensure that Illinois had the tools to create the most equity-centric cannabis market in the nation. We hosted the first-ever cannabis hack-a-thon, funded application fees for 100 social equity applicants, and advocated tirelessly for legislation that lowered barriers to entry and increased support for applicants who are traditionally underserved and historically overlooked.

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Recreational cannabis
is legalized

On January 1st, 2020, the first recreational cannabis companies were open for business, and over the following year they generated over $1B in revenue. While the projections made for cannabis revenue broke records, the promises that legislators made for social equity fell short. The legislation legalizing cannabis included loopholes that allowed established, deep-pocketed companies to beat out aspiring social equity cannabis entrepreneurs for licenses designed to increase access for minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.

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had to get it right

Aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs demanded that Illinois right these wrongs, filing lawsuits, assembling press conferences, organizing rallies, and holding their legislators accountable. As part of Illinois’ plan to get back on the path towards an fair, accessible cannabis industry, they enlisted the help of Good Tree Capital to support the equitable distribution of over $30 million in flexible, low-cost financing to social equity applicants.

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How we got here

Our Mission
Our successful borrower portfolio
Our work with legislators and lawmakers

What this means
for Social Equity borrowers

Removing barriers, boosting growth

With access to up to $1 million in loans*, spend less time worrying about raising capital, and more time growing your business. With the support of the State of Illinois, your business will receive the necessary resources to hit the ground running once you open your doors for business.

*Loan sizes vary between $100K and $1 million based on business type and financial needs.

Lead the charge towards a more equitable industry

Your business’ success means success for your team, your community, and future generations of aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs. While this program is the gold standard for social equity legislation in cannabis, it would be nothing without business owners like you.

Work with experts that know your needs

Good Tree Capital has worked alongside the applicants, licensees, lawmakers, and advocates that have made social equity in Illinois a reality. As a result, we offer our borrowers rates that work for them, not against them, and provide options for flexible loan terms that best suit their business needs. Visit the borrower page for full lending details.

Social Equity borrowers

What this means
for investors

Investing in businesses you wouldn’t otherwise have access to

This is a rare opportunity to invest in newly-licensed cannabis operators with unlimited potential in the emerging Illinois market. The alternative for investing in cannabis is large multi-state operators or ETF’s that don’t offer the same safety, security, or return on investment.

Supporting local businesses and economies

Your investment directly supports Illinois small business entrepreneurs. As a result, these companies will be able to thrive, pour back into their surrounding community, and bolster local economies.

Using investment dollars to get a high return and make a difference

Investing in this fund not only earns you industry-beating returns on your investment, but also champions the opportunity and impact of social equity within the cannabis industry. 


How to become a

If you’re a social equity license holder in Illinois, apply to the DCEO’s Cannabis Loan Program
Apply to the DCEO
Receive approval from the DCEO
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
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Once you have been approved by the DCEO, 
fill out our application
Our team will review your application and get back to you promptly with a decision. You’ll receive loan funds shortly after final approval.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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