No one predicts pot brownies for sale in every grocery store if recreational adult use of cannabis is approved by the Illinois legislature.
But experts and industry insiders anticipate plenty of opportunities for businesses to get involved in what could be a new legal market for an already popular product.
Business possibilities will expand beyond growing, processing, packaging and selling cannabis into education, health care, science, research, construction, banking, accounting, legal services and other ancillary fields.
Companies entering the fray will have to comply with government regulations and taxes that are yet to be written and likely will vary from those applied to the medical branch of the industry. Experts predict these rules will be the biggest limiting factor in what could be an economic boom.
While not everyone supports the legalization of recreational cannabis, it’s on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda and has been pitched by state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both of Chicago.
Pritzker told the Daily Herald editorial board he hopes legalization could expand opportunities for employment and investment.
“One goal is also to create jobs and have ownership and equity owned by the people who live in Illinois,” he said.
Some suburban doctors, superintendents, politicians and police chiefs fear increases in cannabis-related overdose deaths, fatal crashes and misuse by teens. But many supporters and skeptics alike predict adult use eventually will gain approval.
For businesses, that means now is the time to prepare for what one cannabis company executive calls “a slow crawl into a beautiful industry.”
Dustin Shroyer, chief operations officer of Revolution Enterprises, a cultivation and consulting company that grows cannabis in downstate Delavan between Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, said job possibilities will