Illinois Cannabis Entrepreneurs Invest Despite Risks


River Cities’ Reader does a great job of detailing the Illinois medical cannabis market, incorporating the perspective of several license holders as well as that of Mark Passerini, the President of the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association (ILCIA). While the program just started serving patients more than two years after being signed into law, the authorization is set to expire in  the end of 2017 unless the pilot program is extended.

According to Passerini, there are only 3500 patients enrolled so far, which he attributes to a lack of education among physicians, the $100 cost to get a card and the lack of open dispensaries.  ILCIA projects 20K potential patients.  The program is highly restrictive and requires patients to get fingerprints and criminal background checks.  One company, Green Thumb Industries, has invested over $10mm.

I think most of the people that are in the industry now kind of see this as a long-term play, and realize that this is not going to go away. Too much toothpaste has been squeezed out of the tube at this point to put it back in. … There would be so much backlash at that point. There would be really too much political pressure on the administration to continue it. I just don’t see it happening.

Mark Passerini

Mark Passerini, President of the ILCIA

Read Jeff Ignatius’ “The Business of Medical Marijuana in Illinois: With a Restrictive Pilot Project, Dispensaries and Cultivators Are Betting on the Program’s Expansion”:

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