Illinois—the Yellow State


Illinois has a colorful political history that includes sending its last two governors to jail. It’s a pity that the standing governor, Pat Quinn, can’t be tried for cowardice as it relates to neglecting the Illinois Compassionate Care Act, because it appears he’s certainly guilty of that.

Today, Jan. 9, is Quinn’s last day in office and he told local ABC affiliate Channel 7 News, “I had to straighten things out and restore confidence and integrity to the Office of Governor,” Quinn said. “I think I’ve done that.”

Quinn may be the only one who believes that. License applications for the state’s medical marijuana program were due in mid-September and the fiscally challenged state managed to collect $5 million in non-refundable fees from hopeful applicants.

Quinn told Associated Press that he blames the responsible governing agencies—the Department of Agriculture for cultivation centers and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for dispensaries—for not yet having issued the licenses and leaving the applicants to languish.

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner, whose inauguration is Monday, Jan. 12, has expressed a different view as to how the licensing process should work, which may create a whole new process and at the very least, extensive delays. The program is slated to last four years and has a sunset provision. Could the sun set on this program before it ever rises?

David Friedman is the CEO of Panther Capital and the Panther Funds. He is the founder of the Institute for Cannabis Economics and former CEO of MJIC, Inc. An accounting and finance professional his experience cuts across multiple industries and ranges from startups to running a billion-dollar family office. He can be reached at

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