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Chicago Cannabis Company opens first co-op store in Lincoln Park

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Chicago Cannabis Company offers "products for every level of cannabis consumption, from connoisseur to people trying cannabis for the first time," co-owner Nicollette Rodriguez said.

When Nicollette Rodriguez founded Chicago Cannabis Company with co-owner Tom Gliszewski in 2018, she was working as a bilingual high school teacher and started using CBD to help with stress.

“It really improved my quality of life,” Rodriguez said.

“With teaching being a stressful job, CBD helped me sleep better at night and organize my thoughts and planning. It revolutionized my life.”


Report: IL marijuana sales fall short of projections

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Illinois could have realized an additional $600 million in revenue from recreational marijuana sales, according to an analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute.

The group said it found a complicated tax system and restrictive licensing has cut into the state's revenue stream. In 2021, Illinois took in $317 million from cannabis taxes despite the demand for the product due to the pandemic.

Illinois lawmakers had projected in 2019 that revenue could produce $440 million to $676 million in annual tax revenue. The number of dispensary licenses has also been a problem.


The Illinois cannabis market is showing zero signs of slowing down


Although United States (US) cannabis companies have been under pressure so far this year, we believe the market is in the early innings of hyper-growth cycle and are of the opinion that many operators (large and small) are undervalued. (Click here for article)

Since 2020, several states have legalized recreational cannabis and we have been impressed by the growth of these markets. We consider Illinois and Michigan to be burgeoning recreational cannabis markets and are bullish on the long-term potential that is associated with the two midwestern states. 


Illinois' pot program pitfalls


Despite a downstate judge allowing Illinois to award 60 new business licenses for growing marijuana after a recent three-month pause, dispensary licenses are still being held up by the courts.

Why it matters: When pot was legalized in 2019, Governor Pritzker and the state legislature boasted that we had the most socially equitable legal marijuana program in the country. But many of those promises were never delivered.

  • There are almost no minority-owned dispensaries out of the 110 retail stores currently operating in Illinois.

Context: The program that the governor modified in 2021 to get more minority-owned businesses in the mix has been held up by the courts.


Illinois' pot market isn't up to snuff

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Cumbersome regulations and litigation are holding back an industry that should be growing faster.

Illinois’ marijuana industry needs a shot of adrenaline.

After a strong start, legal pot sales in the state have slowed recently. Figures released by the state show total sales dropped 14.6% to $117 million in January 2022 from $137 million in December 2021. Of course, you might expect January sales to slow from holiday-boosted December results. And sales were up 32% from January 2021.


The man behind Reditus Labs wants to become a destination employer for a lot more than COVID testing


Coronavirus testing has made Reditus Laboratories one of the fastest-growing employers in central Illinois, and the man behind the company's success says it's about more than good timing.

In the first of a two-part series on Reditus’ sudden rise, CEO Aaron Rossi has a unique blend of business interests that goes beyond the biomedical lab. There's orthotics, there's branding, and soon there may even be cannabis growing in his future.

In 2018, Aaron Rossi bought a bankrupt orthotics company called PAL Health Technologies in Pekin. A year later, he started a company called Reditus Laboratories inside the same building along the Illinois River in a business park on the city's southern edge.


Illinois proposal to bar employers from firing workers over pot advances


A bill to enshrine protections for workers in Illinois who use cannabis products cleared a hurdle in the state general assembly last week.

The legislation passed in the Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday and arrived in the state Senate the following day. Democrats control both chambers of the general assembly.

Under the proposal, “an employer may not refuse to hire an individual or discipline an employee because results of an individual’s drug test indicate the presence of THC on the part of that individual,” nor may the employer fire or impose a discipline against an employee for such conduct. 


State of Illinois asks public to help identify community organizations that will receive grants for marijuana revenues



Nearly $2.5 billion has poured into Illinois since recreational marijuana became legal in 2020, and with every sale, part of the tax goes to help fund community organizations.

As CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra reported Thursday night, you can play a role in deciding which groups get the money.

One community group that has benefited from marijuana proceeds is the Chicago Youth Boxing Club in Little Village, where the consistent percussion of gloves hitting bags, and gloves hitting each other, is a symphony to Gabriel Navarro.

“To me, it’s exciting,” he said.

“It means there’s kids in the ring, sparring; there’s kids in the bags hitting the bags.”


Bill filed to cap THC levels in Illinois cannabis products


 After a record number of calls to the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) in 2021 related to cannabis, legislation has been filed at the Statehouse to limit the potency of some products sold at cannabis dispensaries.

For the bill sponsor, Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, he says the bill isn't likely to pass as written, but he wanted to file it before the Jan. 28 deadline on behalf of the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS), a non-profit association of healthcare professionals.

Batinick says the request from the ISMS is in response to a recent rise in cannabis-related calls to the IPC since 2019, when 487 cases were reported. In 2020, there were 743 cases and in 2021 there were 855 cases.


Marijuana edibles spurring rise in pot-related overdose calls to Illinois Poison Center


Marijuana edibles are becoming increasingly popular, but doctors warn the substances are prone to accidental consumption or may pack too much of a wallop for new users.

Newly released numbers show marijuana overdose-related calls in Illinois jumped significantly after legalization, mainly due to edibles — but remained far below the number of calls for other legal drugs, including alcohol.

The number of calls to the Illinois Poison Center for cannabis rose from 487 in 2019, to 743 in 2020, the year recreational weed was legalized in the state, and increased again to 855 in 2021.

Many of the calls were for consumption of edibles, officials said. Edible cases more than tripled from 80 cases in 2019 to 450 in 2021.


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