5 Articles: Marijuana Business and Politics in Illinois

Turn on the news these days and you'll likely see or hear a report about long lines at Illinois' new marijuana dispensaries. But what about a more in-depth look at the impact of the state's newest industry? These recent articles explore the business and political aspects of recreational marijuana.

You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I've also noted if an article is available freely on the web. (There are also a number of books on the business of marijuana; check out our booklist Turning Over a New Leaf: Books About Marijuana.)

"High Stakes: With Recreational Marijuana, Illinois Promises to Share the Wealth and Repair Past Harms. Can It Succeed Where All Others Stumbled?" by John Pletz
Crain’s Chicago Business, December 2, 2019 (also available on the Crain's Chicago Business website)
Illinois built social equity aims into its recreational marijuana legislation in hopes of bringing in communities that were hurt by the war on drugs and diversifying an industry populated by a small number of companies mostly owned by white men. But the high cost of entering the industry—and the fact that already-established medical dispensaries automatically received recreational licenses—has some would-be entrepreneurs feeling left out. 

"License to Grow: 'I Had a Hard Time Finding Decent Jobs'" by Elena Ferrarin
Daily Herald, January 19, 2020 (also available on the Daily Herald website)
This profile of an Elgin man with felony drug convictions who's hoping to win a state license to become a marijuana craft grower traces his work to learn the trade and the steps involved in applying for a license.

"Everybody's Inhaling: Legal Marijuana Market Lifts Businesses Ranging from Construction Companies to Software and Financial Services Specialists" by John Pletz
Crain’s Chicago Business, January 20, 2020 (also available on the Crain's Chicago Business website)
There's a lot that goes into opening any business, including borrowing money and building a facility, so it follows that other businesses are getting a boost from the recreational marijuana industry.

"Is Your City's Pension Fund a Little Short? Marijuana Might Help; Public Officials Look to Cannabis Tax Revenue to Shore Up Retirement Programs and Budgets" by Heather Gillers
Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2020
Across the country cities and states are using cannabis legalization to shore up tight finances, but given the unpredictable nature of the business, there are many factors to consider.

"Marijuana Shortages May Continue for Year or More: Illinois' Tight Market Is Expected to Linger Longer Than Other States" by Robert McCoppin
Chicago Tribune, January 20, 2020 (also available on the Chicago Tribune website)
Illinois has fewer marijuana cultivation warehouses than many other states that have already legalized marijuana. This article takes a look at supply, state regulation and what's ahead for the industry.