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.”