Search Results for: medical marijuana entrepreneurs in Illinois

Costs Adding Up For Illinois Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs

ILLINOIS: In the world of medical marijuana entrepreneurs in Illinois, there’s plenty of green behind the grass.

Hundreds of would-be medical marijuana growers and sellers have put millions of dollars on the line hoping for coveted state permits that were supposed to issued by former Gov. Pat Quinn by the end of last year.

To snag those valuable permits, the entrepreneurs hired consultants, lawyers and lobbyists.

They’re already paying rent, in some cases, or have money tied up in options to buy property.

And now, they wait.  And with millions of dollars on the line, waiting can get expensive.

Illinois Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs Decry Fees

ILLINOIS: Vegetables, flowers and herbs grow in rows of green at Robert Boyce’s greenhouses in Lake Zurich — but what he’d really like to grow is marijuana.

Boyce, a horticulturist and landscape design architect, has run Natural Environments Greenhouses and Nursery and a florist shop for many years. He’s done work for the Chicago Botanic Garden and several Chicago-area public parks.

Yet none of that is enough to qualify for a license to grow pot under the new state law allowing medical marijuana, for which having a green thumb may not be as important as having lot of green to put up.

Under the proposed rules for the new law, Boyce and other would-be pot cultivators need a $2 million surety bond, $250,000 in liquid assets, $25,000 for an application fee, $200,000 for a permit fee and an approved site. The greenhouses he runs wouldn’t qualify because they’re next to a day camp for kids — one of many siting restrictions that also prohibit growing pot near schools and residential areas.

Key Dates On Road To Legal Medical Marijuana In Illinois

ILLINOIS: The road to legal medical marijuana in Illinois began more than a decade ago, when proponents first began pushing legislation in Springfield. After many defeats, a law establishing a pilot program was approved in 2013.

Here are key dates since the law was passed:

  • Aug. 1, 2013: Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, signs the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, making Illinois the 21st state allowing marijuana for medical use. The law authorizes a four-year pilot program that expires at the end of 2017.
  • July 15, 2014: A legislative committee approves the program’s rules for patients, growers and retailers. Public comments from patients, entrepreneurs and city officials helped shape the rules.
  • Jan. 1, 2015: A law takes effect expanding the pilot program to allow children to be prescribed non-smokable forms of marijuana.

Marijuana Expo Draws ‘Gold Rush’ To Illinois, Without The Gold

ILLINOIS:  Oils and extracts, vaporizers, grow lights and joint rollers filled a marijuana convention in Chicago on Wednesday — without a puff of pot in the air or a single leaf of the drug yet sold legally in Illinois.

More than 2,000 people attended the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, hoping to cash in on a business that is forecast by one industry-backed market research group to grow to $11 billion in annual sales nationwide by 2019, with the prospect of legalization in several more states.

Yet the vast majority of entrepreneurs will have no shot at growing or selling pot legally, said Adam Bierman, managing partner of MedMen, a consulting firm. Since he opened his first “pot shop” for $13,000 in California, he said, the industry has increasingly become controlled by “titans” who have six figures or more to invest.

And as more states — including Illinois, with its fledgling medical pot program — limit and closely regulate who can grow and sell the drug, many seeking a foothold in the business are focused finding their own niches.

Medical Marijuana Fees Stir Debate In Maryland

MARYLAND:  With Maryland’s proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents.

Prospective medical marijuana growers would have to pay $125,000 a year for a two-year license, while dispensaries would have to pay $40,000 a year, according to the recommendations of a state commission. Only one state — Illinois — is charging a higher upfront cost for growers.

Del. Cheryl D. Glenn, a lead sponsor of Maryland’s medical marijuana law, called the proposed fees “outrageous.” The 15-member medical marijuana commission is named for Natalie M. LaPrade, Glenn’s mother, who died in 2011 of kidney cancer.

The Baltimore Democrat fears the steep costs could shut out small businesses and increase retail prices so much that marijuana would be unaffordable for some patients. “We have the haves and have-nots all over again,” she said. “That’s ridiculous.”

 

 

Illinois Medical Marijuana Applications Due Monday

ILLINOIS:  Two Illinois state agencies will accept applications for medical marijuana businesses until 3 p.m. Monday.

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture will take applications for dispensaries and cultivation centers.

The state’s new medical marijuana law went into effect Jan. 1, but the first crop can’t be planted until permits for growers are issued later this year. The law prohibits patients from growing their own cannabis. Commercial growers will pay a 7 percent privilege tax on their marijuana sales.

Illinois expects to grant up to 21 permits for cultivation centers and up to 60 permits for dispensaries.

 

Deadline Ahead for Illinois Marijuana Businesses

ILLINOIS:  With a Monday afternoon deadline approaching, people who want to own medical marijuana businesses in Illinois are hurrying to complete their applications for a limited number of permits.

Two state agencies – the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture – are accepting applications for dispensaries and cultivation centers until Monday at 3 p.m.

The state’s new medical marijuana law went into effect Jan. 1, but the first crop can’t be planted until permits for growers are issued later this year. The law prohibits patients from growing their own cannabis. Commercial growers will pay a 7 percent privilege tax on their marijuana sales.

Panels of legal and policy experts will review and score the applications in a competitive process. Illinois expects to grant up to 21 permits for cultivation centers and up to 60 permits for dispensaries.

 

More Questions Than Answers For Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs

ILLINOIS:  Medical marijuana investors grilled public officials Wednesday for any scrap of information they could get about applying for state licenses before they must fork over up to $25,000 for the privilege.

Nearly 300 people turned out at a public meeting to ask state regulators about the process to apply to grow, dispense or use medical marijuana.

Questions ranged from the highly technical — someone asked if it’s OK to use vaporized sulfur on marijuana — to the constitutional, such as whether it’s legal to prohibit owners of medical marijuana businesses from also being customers.

Each business entity may apply for a permit to operate up to five dispensaries and three cultivation centers out of the 21 grow centers and 60 retail shops that the state will authorize. Regulators will choose which applicants get permits through a scoring system based on business, security and cultivation plans along with numerous other factors.

 

Illinois Patients Could Start Buying Medical Pot By Spring

ILLINOIS: State lawmakers have set final rules to allow medical marijuana in Illinois, opening the door for patients to apply for ID cards this fall and to start purchasing legal cannabis by next spring.

Those hoping to get in on the new industry, though, cautioned that several significant hurdles remain before marijuana is available to patients: State regulators must choose which businesses will get licenses to grow and sell pot, and must set up a laboratory and procedures to test the drug for safety. And then there’s the matter of figuring out how to start growing a crop that has been illegal for decades.

Bryan Willmer, an owner of Grand Prairie Farms in Frankfort who hopes to open a dispensary and cultivation centers in Will, Kankakee and Champaign counties, said entrepreneurs are hoping state officials will specify how to get seeds.

Illinois Marijuana Hearing Draws Entrepreneurs

ILLINOIS: A public hearing on Illinois‘ new medical marijuana program morphed into an informal networking session Monday, with would-be growers, retailers and patients collecting business cards and sharing trade secrets.

The hearing in Chicago drew about 200 people, with two dozen testifying about proposed rules for the state’s four-year pilot program. Pharmacists said they should play an official role. Patients asked for lower fees. A businessman promoted a Colorado company’s expertise in growing and selling.

“It’s similar to a gold rush,” said political consultant Roberto Caldero of Chicago, who, like many, attended only to observe. “Everybody’s trying to stake out their claim.”