The Rauner Administration yesterday announced the recipients of licenses under Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The announcement came late in the day from Governor Rauner’s general counsel but there has still been no announcement on the official website of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program at the time of this writing.

The announcement came as a

Though some are already proclaiming the imminent death of all or nearly all existing cannabis businesses, believing it inevitable that national legalization will lead to all of them being crushed or swallowed by big pharma, big tobacco, and/or big pharmacy chains, we vehemently disagree.

Here’s why.

A recent Bloomberg article rightly contends that it will

We are going to find out over the next couple of years whether businesses that completely follow state and federal tax rules to a T can survive and function as real businesses. We have blogged before about I.R.C. 280E, and how challenging it makes operating a marijuana business. We can talk your ear off about how difficult the taxes are to comply with in theory, but let’s dive into the numbers to actually see how burdensome the current state and federal tax systems can be.
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At 8:30 a.m. (PST) on Monday, March 3, 2014, entrepreneurs were finally able to apply online with the Oregon Health Authority for a license to run a dispensary or grow facility under House Bill 3460. Similar to other strict marijuana regimes, marijuana businesses in Oregon will now face footage requirements from sensitive uses and from each other, business registration requirements with the State, residency requirements, and other regulatory mandates relating to security and traceability. Specifically, applicants will need to submit a security plan and an inventory control system plan to the Health Authority to be eligible for a license. Having worked with hundreds of cannabis businesses in states outside of Oregon on such plans, we can tell you that they can be very complicated.
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Our own cannabis business lawyer extraordinaire, Hilary Bricken, will be appearing live today on MSNBC at 1:30 p.m. PT, 4:30 p.m. ET. Hilary has been asked to appear on Disrupt with Karen Finney to discuss “the politics of pot legalization” right before the start of the Super Bowl. We also expect Hilary to be asked to opine on marijuana in the workplace, including in the NFL.
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