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Illinois Medical Marijuana Industry Pins Hopes on Skeptical Governor

CHICAGO – Advocates of Illinois’ troubled medical marijuana experiment hope to reassure investors by pushing to have lawmakers extend it beyond 2017, when it expires, but the initiative faces an uncertain fate on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

Entrepreneurs and backers say the success of the four-year program does not depend on an extension. But after a year of stumbles, lawsuits and delays, they believe it would send a signal that the program won’t end before the state can work out the problems and do a proper evaluation.

The pilot project was approved two years ago. Because of the delays, businesses aren’t yet selling the drug and aren’t expected to begin sales until later this year.

“I don’t know how you could make a thoughtful decision on the program without an extension,” said Teddy Scott, CEO of PharmaCann, a suburban Chicago company that is building secure marijuana growing facilities in Hillcrest and Dwight. PharmaCann plans to open retail shops in Ottawa, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Evanston. [Read more from The Associated Press at the Northwest Herald]

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