Illinois Marijuana Industry Pins Hopes On Governor Rauner

(AP) – A proposal to extend the Illinois medical marijuana pilot program beyond 2017 may soon gain passage in Springfield. That would mean the industry’s prospects could come to rest with Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner has said the program should not be extended until it has been fully evaluated. It’s not clear, however, whether the governor would veto a bill to lengthen the program, or if he could be persuaded.

Marijuana entrepreneurs say they will try to convince Rauner that extra time would translate into a stronger industry and more capital investment. The bill could add almost two years to the program.

The first year of the four-year pilot was clouded by unexpected lags, lawsuits and lower-than-expected interest from potential patients. No legal marijuana has yet been grown or sold.

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