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

After months of speculation, the Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) two weeks ago released new guidelines to banks and financial institutions on their relationship with state-legal cannabis businesses. As we discussed in our post, Feds Green Light Marijuana Banking, these new guidelines seem to give banks the green [pun intended] light to conduct banking business with marijuana business customers, subject to fairly stringent requirements that the bank monitor and report on those activities.
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Of all the states in which we have licensed lawyers, Nevada is by far the most frustrating. It is frustrating because Nevada voters voted to legalize medical marijuana 14 years ago, yet the state has yet to see “a penny in pot sales,” according to KTNV News. How can that be?
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Marijuana legalization (in some shape or form) is sweeping the nation. We now have 20 states and the District of Columbia with marijuana regulations on the books. Alaska and Oregon are looking to legalize anytime between 2014 and 2016; more states are experimenting with medical marijuana. Even the southeast is welcoming the idea of marijuana (including Florida which will see medical marijuana on the ballot this November). Investors are looking to invest their money in marijuana businesses. Banks are looking to provide financial services to the cannabis industry now that the Feds have provided guidance on what they can and cannot do when accepting marijuana dollars from entrepreneurs. And our own Commander-in-Chief openly admitted that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.
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I have a friend who is the mother of a 16 year old. This mom tells me that every time her daughter leaves the house, she reminds her kid to “make good choices.” Someone should be saying this to everyone contemplating investing in a publicly traded marijuana company. I am not saying all publicly traded marijuana companies are bad, but I am saying that none of our cannabis lawyers have invested in one and none plan to do so any time soon.
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