ILLINOIS: Since they won the Super Bowl, members of the 1985 Chicago Bears have made second careers out of promoting apple-pie products like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and G.I. Joe. Now, they can add a more countercultural item to the menu: medical marijuana.
Emery Moorehead, former tight end for that once-dominant franchise, is part of a business team hoping to sell cannabis under the new state law that legalizes it. Moorehead plans to direct community relations for a group of investors seeking to open a marijuana dispensary in his native Evanston — one of 369 businesses that have applied to run medical pot retail stores or growing warehouses in Illinois.
But while people like Moorehead are seeking publicity for their proposals, the state is deciding entirely in secret who will get potentially lucrative operating licenses. Even the names of applicants — and the names of those who will judge and rank the applications — are being withheld.
By law, medical marijuana business applications are confidential and exempt from the state Freedom of Information Act. Now, one of the most vocal critics of the secrecy of the licensing process is about to take oversight of it: Bruce Rauner.