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Cannabis roundup

Monday, Nov 4, 2019

* Sun-Times

Having a pot-related arrest or conviction used to be a liability for Illinoisans seeking employment. Now, a criminal record might lead to a job in the legal industry.

HempStaff, a Miami-based recruitment and training agency, launched a new division last month to help cannabis firms in Illinois and five other states hire employees that meet certain social equity requirements, including those with pot offenses on their records.

A news release from HempStaff said the company hopes to help those folks “find their dream opportunities.” But there’s also benefits for employers.

Under Illinois’ legalization law, budding “ganjapreneurs” vying for licenses to sell and grow recreational weed can get an edge in the application process if most of their employees have been arrested for or convicted of a cannabis offense that’s eligible for expungement, live in an area “disproportionately impacted” by past drug policies or have an affected family member.

* Tribune

Illinois gave two more marijuana facilities approval to grow weed for recreational customers, with just two months to go before sales start next year.

The licenses went to Wellness Group Pharms in Anna and GTI Rock Island, which is run by Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries. Both already grow cannabis for medical patients, and join seven other facilities that got the state’s OK in September to also grow recreational pot.

The state law allows the existing 21 grow facilities to be the first to produce recreational pot, and it was largely expected most would opt to do so. But the companies need state approval. The licenses, which will continue to be issued, will help determine which products customers see on store shelves when recreational sales start next year.

The law does not allow any more large cultivators to supply the Illinois market until 2021 at the earliest, and then only if demand warrants them.

* Speaking of demand

Get ready for some very long lines if you’re planning to buy marijuana in Chicago on Jan. 1, when recreational sales become legal.

Under new rules issued [last week] for a lottery process that will be used for new dispensaries, only the 11 existing medical locations are likely to be available to serve recreational customers on New Year’s Day.

Once it became clear that the city was going to take a go-slow approach to marijuana, including controversial zoning laws that prohibit retail sales from much of downtown, cannabis companies have been quietly speculating that there might not be any new dispensaries open in the city by Jan. 1.

A lottery held Nov. 15 will determine the order in which existing medical license holders can seek new recreational-dispensary locations in seven districts of the city. Winners would then have to submit applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals to receive special-use permits to open a dispensary. Before receiving approval, license seekers would have to hold public meetings to get community input on opening a retail dispensary.

* Related…

* Law firms getting over their fear of cannabis

* Illinois marijuana law aims to undo harm of war on the drug

* Where to buy recreational cannabis in Central Illinois? Some cities are still deciding

* Illinois colleges face medical cannabis conundrum

* Barrington officials not hearing a whole lot from residents, stakeholders on cannabis dispensaries: Village leaders

* Sycamore City Council to look at recreational marijuana again

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments »
  1. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Illinois will have one of the worst legalization roll outs to date - extremely long lines, very limited product until it sells out even with the expected price gouging. The growers did a great job convincing lawmakers they would be able to meet the demand and now they are starting to back peddle. Craft growers will be lucky if they can bring product to market by December of 2020 and all the accolades for the social equity focus of this law will get overshadowed by dramatic lack of product for at least the first year or two.

    Medical cannabis patients are already facing shortages and that is with only ~60,000 making purchases each month. For some of them it is a matter of life and death.


  2. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    We should do a lot better than Massachusetts, who legalized adult-use in 2016 and still didn’t have recreational marijuana available by summer/fall 2018. They may not have had their regulations in place, but it looks like we’re ready to at least get started on or around 01/01/2020, barring shortages.


  3. - SpfdNewb - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    -Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla-

    I think you are forgetting Massachusetts and Michigan’s debacle. Massachusetts had 3 stores through out the state once recreational sales happened, and Michigan had legalized it over two years ago and will not have legal sales until Q1 2020 at the earliest.

    You are correct that supply may be well below demand at first, but that will work itself out with time. At least we won’t have the issue Oregon is/was facing; too much supply for the demand.


  4. - Sandy C - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    I just went online to see if I could pick up product for Jim and they were out of anything that works for him. Of course they are closed so I can’t call and ask. It’s absolutely unacceptable and it’s just not about Jim, we’ve had a lot of patient complaints about product not being available, particularly flower. So I’m being forced to go to the street just to get Jim’s product after all these years of helping pass and support this program? Not to mention, it still takes 24 hrs to switch which should have already been done…and by then they could be out of product.

    So, why am I as a caregiver….and others…. scrambling???? Patients are in need and if we have issues now..what happens January?? And I don’t want to hear they have plenty of product…Jim uses a particular kind of product. You don’t switch out pharma drugs if they are out. Anyway, these are sick people with serious conditions as we all know too well. 😥 I’ve placed a call with the governor’s office, let’s see if JB calls me back.


  5. - {Sigh} - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    =Get ready for some very long lines if you’re planning to buy marijuana in Chicago on Jan. 1, when recreational sales become legal.=

    With product shortage already occurring, those waiting in long lines will be extremely disappointed when they can’t purchase. With limited medical dispensaries currently approved for adult use, the administration might want to think about delaying the implementation date until April 2020. {sigh}


  6. - Sandy C - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    =With limited medical dispensaries currently approved for adult use, the administration might want to think about delaying the implementation date until April 2020. {sigh} =

    100% agree


  7. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    However it goes on Jan. 1, 2020, there will hopefully be a New Year’s Eve event to welcome in legalization. Many have been waiting for this moment for years, and it only comes once.


  8. - NoGifts - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    All good unless you participate in the section 8 program.


  9. - Ola - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’m hearing that the Cartel is unleashing its posse to apply for worker positions.

    As previous arrests- mean NOTHING


  10. - the Edge - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Unlike MI and MA we have a dem gov who will push the bureaucracy along, and he did appoint a very proactive state pot guru


  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    == get an edge in the application process if most of their employees have been arrested for or convicted of a cannabis offense==

    I thought employees had to be tested regularly? This doesn’t make sense, they want employees that have pot convictions but not employees who actually use the product after it becomes legal? They won’t be able to tell me if what I’m buying is any good or not, only how unfair the system was before legalization *facepalm*


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===I thought employees had to be tested regularly?===

    Where did you see that?


  13. - Sandy C - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===I thought employees had to be tested regularly?===

    We have patients working at the dispensaries so that isn’t correct.


  14. - Maryjane - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    - Ola: Which cartel; whom?

    I’ve mentioned before about the Ca. rollout and the dearth of legal options on the SF peninsula. To be blunt, we started buying from a friend and got some great deals. Before when it was just Medical there was no need not to buy from a dispensary, but… they ‘kinda screwed it up for a while. Gotta make the best of it. If they just aint ready, there’s no reason to feel bad about making alternate arrangements for the interim imo.


  15. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 3:20 pm:

    I don’t think medical patients in MI, MA or CA have gotten hung out to dry like the patients in Illinois currently are going through and will continue to go through next year.

    Cultivator A chops down a dispensaries order 40%. Cultivator B doesn’t let you buy from them unless you get 35% of their entire product line. Cultivator C no longer offers shake, an affordable option for low income patients. Cultivator D limits how much you can order to amount that makes a dorm room dealer look like a kingpin.

    And if we want to avoid an over supply who exactly benefits from that? The answer is law enforcement in neighboring states, suppliers who want to keep prices inflated and price based tax collections. The residents of Oregon and Washington state are not complaining about the abundance of options and low prices as far as i can tell.


  16. - Pyrman - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    Many of the medical patients have totally weaned themselves off of Opiates with the help of medical marijuana, now that the marijuana will be in short supply or non existent what do these folks do? Going without or back to Opiates are not good answers.


  17. - Maryjane - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    - Pyrman:
    “marijuana will be in short supply or non existent what do these folks do? Going without or back to Opiates are not good answers. ”

    Hear, hear. With all my heart, I respectfully suggest they grow their own medicine. Autoflower strains, LED lights and the internet have imo changed the game for discreet personal cultivation.


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