COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – The nascent medical marijuana business in Illinois is off to a slow start with fewer than 4,000 approved patients.
That hasn’t kept away a cadre of cannabis entrepreneurs who once relied on guns, badges, tough drug laws and lengthy prison sentences to fight the drug.
The Associated Press has identified no fewer than 17 former law enforcement or legal officials involved in the business, from one-time undercover narcotics officers to an ex-Secret Secret senior executive. Industry officials in Illinois and beyond say the state is unusual in the degree to which former law enforcement officers are taking leading roles.
Many have had a late-stage transformation, coming to see the drug less as a societal harm and more as good public policy – and good business.