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

Los Angeles has a love-hate relationship with its marijuana dispensaries. The city’s latest marijuana cure-all is Proposition D, which is supposed to give a facelift to L.A.’s dispensary scene by reducing the number of dispensaries within city limits to 135 (the number of dispensaries in 2007). A 2012 UCLA study estimated Los Angeles had at least 472 dispensaries. So far however, Proposition D has done little to prevent illegal dispensaries in L.A., but law enforcement says it’s a work in progress.
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A couple of days ago, The New York Times quoted one of our cannabis business lawyers, Hilary Bricken, in an article entitled, Providers of Medical Marijuana Face New Fears. The article was on Washington State’s efforts to greatly restrict (perhaps even kill) the medical marijuana collective garden system in favor of a recreational marijuana only regime and Hilary was quoted on that issue:

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Since HB0001 was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed into law by Governor Quinn in August last year, it has been evident that Illinois’ MMJ regime would be a highly regulated one. With the recent release of draft regulations by the departments of Revenue, Public Health, Agriculture, and Financial and Professional Regulation, we’ve learned just how tight that regulation will be. In particular, forces of supply, demand, and freedom of contract are being significantly checked.

Below is a quick rundown of how Illinois regulators will control with whom and how Illinois dispensaries and cultivation centers will do business.
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As long as marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, there will be those uncomfortable with marijuana businesses, no matter how professional or (state) law-abiding they may be. This stigma is unfortunate, since it may be deterring serious, experienced entrepreneurs from getting into the game. This may be particularly true downstate, which has a deserved reputation for its conservatism.
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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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The list of tasks you need to complete before you even submit your Illinois medical cannabis license application is quite long. But if you’re a glass half-full type, you should view the state’s rigorous application process as serving to both weed out (pun intended) the corner-cutters who could ruin the pilot program for us all, and as ensuring that you get all of your ducks in a row before entering the medical cannabis marketplace in Illinois. The recent release of the draft regulatory rules from the departments of Agriculture and Financial and Professional Regulation gave us a much better idea of what the application process will look like.
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