Week in Review: Illinois a Launchpad for MJ Companies With Eye on National Expansion

February 6, 2015

By John Schroyer

The cannabis industry has been abuzz since Illinois unexpectedly issued 70 business permits to medical marijuana companies earlier this week, allaying concerns that the licensing process would be delayed indefinitely.

“I’ve got phone calls coming in almost 24/7 now,” said Joseph Friedman, chief operations officer at PDI Medical, which was awarded a dispensary license. “It’s been a very exciting 48 to 72 hours since we got notice. I’m working day and night to make this thing happen.”

While Friedman and scores of other local entrepreneurs who won licenses are celebrating, so too are a handful of ambitious out-of-state dispensaries, recreational stores and cannabusiness management companies that are behind some of the groups that won permits.

The list includes California’s Harborside Health Center, one of the largest dispensaries in the country; Mindful, which has four cannabis shops in Colorado; and Kayvan Khalatbari, co-owner of...

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