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Marijuana Producers Demand State Sponsored Monopoly

Crains 13 February 2019 No Comment

Consider Illinois marijuana producers’ campaign for government aid. As my colleague Brigid Sweeney reported in this week’s issue of Crain’s, companies holding 21 licenses to produce medicinal marijuana want legislation legalizing recreational use to include a moratorium on new state licenses for commercial-scale production.


In other words, they want a government-mandated oligopoly on a recreational-use market worth an estimated $1.6 billion annually. The moratorium likely would last a year or more, plenty of time for incumbents to build the brand recognition, commercial relationships and scale economies to ward off new competitors.

They’ve apparently found a sympathetic ear among lawmakers crafting recreational-use legislation that Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign. Worried about “oversupply,” State Sen. Heather Steans plans to commission a study to determine how many commercial licenses Illinois needs.

Read more in Crain’s

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