“We make sure to give them all their stressful environments in the beginning to see if they don’t like it,” Hogan said. “If they don’t, we get rid of them. We haul them and then we only keep the top contenders.”
Speaking at an unrelated news conference on Monday, Pritzker said there are three reasons he’s pushing the measure to legalize recreational marijuana: its criminal justice elements, the ability to regulate a product that’s already widely available and to bring in revenue. And he said he anticipates tweaks to the bill.
John Sullivan, a director for the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, said the state set a “gold standard” when it comes to its medical marijuana industry.
Ericka Hogan, cultivation manager at Illinois Grown Medicine, spreads medical marijuana branches to allow light penetration for proper flower development in the cultivation center’s flowering room in Elk Grove Village, Monday morning, May 6, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
“I’m not necessarily opposed to it. It’s just making sure it’s regulated, and I’m assuming you don’t want to get it out in the free market, only because it’s not tested,” Sullivan said “People don’t know what they’re getting. That’s our focus, is making sure quality products are sold to consumers right now.”
The current legislation also includes a provision to grow up to five plants in homes. Sullivan said more than 80% of home grow products tested in Michigan failed when growers tried to sell the product to dispensaries.
Pat Hogan, who oversees propagation and research and development for the company, is a genetics expert. He said he started his last cannabis batch with 200 seeds and only kept five — based on the genetic makeup of the plant, or “whether it’s resilient, stable, if they like it here.”
The state currently has permitted 21 cultivation centers to grow medical marijuana legally, based on Illinois State Police districts, and 20 of them are operational. The state has also granted licenses to 55 medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.
A medical marijuana cultivation center in Elk Grove Village is financially banking on the state legalizing recreational marijuana — expanding its grow operation and building a lab to process marijuana products in anticipation of what will undoubtedly become a booming industry should it pass.
A medical marijuana cultivation center in Elk Grove Village is financially banking on the state legalizing recreational marijuana.