Cresco Labs is poised to become Illinois’ largest medical marijuana grower after winning three cultivation permits, more than any other company. But the risks are daunting for the Chicago-based company and its four founding partners, who have backgrounds in mortgage lending and real estate.
Illinois’ marijuana pilot program expires at the end of 2017 unless state lawmakers extend it. Far fewer patients have signed up than projected. And Cresco is a defendant in two lawsuits filed by unsuccessful applicants that may delay construction for the company.
The founding partners are accustomed to high stakes. Cresco partner Joe Caltabiano’s interest in medical marijuana stems from his experience surviving childhood leukemia. He says cancer doctors tell him they’re recommending marijuana to help patients with treatment side effects.
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