Medical marijuana will be legal in Illinois. Now the question is- who gets to grow and sell it?
The National Cannabis Industry Association will host the state’s first ever marijuana business symposium this Saturday in Chicago, with the aim to provide some guidance to those looking to invest in cultivation centers or dispensaries in Illinois.
One of those in attendance will be Ean Seeb of the marijuana consulting firm Denver Relief Consulting. Seeb says how the state’s program will work is still a mystery, as state regulators have until May 2014 to establish the rules surrounding medical cannabis.
“We have the basic structure,” Seeb said, “and we know how many centers there are going to be, but we don’t know exactly the rules and regs are going to play out.”
Seeb believes that though the law goes into effect on Jan. 1st, that regulation deadline will delay the application process for potential cultivators and dispensers, which in turn delays the availability of any product to patients. That could drive away unsure investors, who may already be uneasy about selling a product that’s still illegal at the federal level.
“We tell people that if that is a fear for someone who’s looking to get into the business that they should not get into the business,” Seeb said.
Politicians who crafted the law have said it’s possible that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation may have the program’s rules in place by the beginning of the year. Seeb is less optimistic, saying it’s likely that regulators could miss the later May 1st deadline.