Regulators say state law bars the release of almost all the information businesses have to submit to get lucrative licenses to grow or sell cannabis.
As a result, the public can’t see records that could show whether pot businesses have questionable funding sources or ties to unsavory people. That’s proven problematic in another state-regulated industry — gambling, where revelations of reputed mob ties have sent officials scrambling.
Concerns about a lack of transparency came up last year before the passage of the law that legalized recreational pot. Sponsors Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy vowed to “make ownership data completely accessible.” Despite that pledge, their bill passed with a confidentiality provision that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation recently cited in denying the Tribune’s open records requests for applications and ownership information about marijuana dispensaries. […]
Both Pritzker’s office and legislators are promising changes that would allow more disclosure of pot industry ownership, though they did not offer specifics. […]
Pam Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, said the owners of pot enterprises remain concerned about being identified, given that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
Most other states already post this information. Get it done.
* I still can’t quite believe that Effingham, in the heart of the Eastern Bloc, went ahead with it…
With security in place and a celebratory atmosphere inside, Effingham’s Rise operation, formerly known as The Clinic Effingham, opened their doors Saturday morning for the city’s first day of adult-use cannabis sales.
It may be time for a fact-finding mission, perhaps including a stop at the Firefly Grill.
* Press release…
Community activists with the Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition announced today that they have signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Nature’s Care Company, LLC (“Nature’s Care Company”), a cannabis operator seeking approval from the City of Chicago to open a new dispensary in the West Loop.
The CBA is a legally enforceable agreement designed to ensure that the economic success of the dispensary is linked with economic benefits for the communities most disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs. Among other provisions in the CBA, Nature’s Care Company has committed to:
Provide 100% living wage jobs for disproportionately impacted individuals
Hire 75% of employees from disproportionately impacted areas (“DIAs”) within two years
Donate 10% of net profits of the dispensary to community organizations working in DIAs
Contract 10% of products and services from minority and social equity businesses
Create a training and career development program for employees
Host “know-your-rights” educational events and participate in National Expungement Week
“This is a milestone moment for racial justice in the story of Illinois’ cannabis legalization,” said Doug Kelly, President of the Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition. “Nature’s Care Company is leading the way for Chicago’s new fleet of adult-use dispensaries. Their customers in the West Loop will greatly benefit from their commitment and their dollars will directly help address the historic wrongs of our cannabis laws, instead of reproducing them.”
Charles Amadin, General Manager of Nature’s Care Company, said: “We recognize the critical role we must play to help support under-served communities and citizens in Chicago. Signing this CBA is our way of saying we won’t just pay lip service to that responsibility. We applaud the Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition for driving this initiative.”
The Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition has pledged to support only those dispensaries that sign a CBA as they seek the City’s approval to open a plus-one location to sell recreational cannabis. This Friday, Nature’s Care Company and seven other dispensaries seeking approval of their plus-one locations will appear at City Hall before the Zoning Board of Appeals, which has the power to grant them the special use permit that is required to open a state-licensed cannabis business. The coalition will attend the hearing and express its support for CBA partner dispensaries like Nature’s Care Company.
* Weed war: Pot firms race to get city OK for 7 potential dispensaries — but only 3 will ever open
* Two groups — one in favor of Naperville marijuana sales and the other against — spending thousands in campaigns for referendum votes
* Frustrated with shortages, medical marijuana patients begin growing their own at home
* Cresco Labs co-founder Caltabiano resigns: Cannabis companies that were once seen as risky by corporate executives are beginning to attract seasoned talent. Cresco recently promoted Greg Butler, a former marketing executive at Molson Coors, to chief commercial officer. GTI recently hired Julie Knudson, former chief human resources officer at GGP, and Beth Burk, general counsel, who was chief compliance officer at Aon.
* More options for recreational marijuana buyers in the metro-east
* McDonough County may approve cannabis sales tax
* SIU symposium to look at legal impact of Illinois’ recreational marijuana law