Pettigrew is the co-founder of Viola CHI with former NBA star Al Harrington, following years of operation by Viola Brands in Colorado, Michigan and other states.

But Illinois was much harder to break into. Controversy and lawsuits over the application process delayed new licenses. Then a perfect storm of supply chain breakdowns, high costs and interests rates combined with poor stock market performance to drive investors away.

As a result, newcomers have struggled to open here while state laws have allowed large multistate operators to keep the market largely to themselves, resulting in the highest prices in the nation.