Health

More Marijuana Companies Are Coming To Chicago

In a significant development in Illinois healthcare news, medical cannabis patients across the state will soon have access to more marijuana products. This month alone, three big companies struck deals that allow them to expand in the state.

One of them is Grassroots Cannabis. The company, which is Illinois’ largest medical cannabis company, just announced an exclusive licensing agreement with edibles producer Wana Brands. Products such as gummies will hit the shelves in local dispensaries by the end of the year, as the high demand of medical marijuana in Illinois creates a boom in the market.

Another company trying to cash in on the growing demand of cannabis? Verano Holdings, a Chicago-based holding company that consolidates the ownership and management of cannabis licenses like Ataraxia, Zen Leaf, Verano, and 3 Boys Farms.

“America’s next great industry is cannabis,” said George Archos, Verano’s chairman and CEO, identifying healthcare trends.

The company recently raised $120 million in financing, which will be used to fund new expansion initiatives in various states, including their Illinois facility. About $88 million in equity investment came from Toronto-based Scythian Biosciences and another $32 million came from private sources.

A third cannabis company that set-up camp in Chicago at the beginning of October is MedMen Enterprises. The Los Angeles-based company decided purchase Seven Point, a licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Oak Park.

This boom in the Illinois’ cannabis market is the direct result of a medical marijuana expansion bill recently signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The new legislation allows doctors to authorize cannabis to patients qualify for opioid prescriptions.

A recent state report shows that Illinois has more than 40,000 users. However, the state has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs. To qualify, patients must have any of about 40 debilitating medical conditions including cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. The pilot medical cannabis program is due to expire in July 2020.

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