Andrew James, medical marijuana CEO who sued the state, dies at 51 – Chicago Tribune

After working in law and real estate, Andrew James embarked upon a third career path in recent years that offered few of the perks of his previous professions.
“I remember Andy and I having dinner with a young couple from Chicago, and hearing how medical marijuana had helped their child, who had been having as many as 100 epileptic seizures a day,” said Larry Lucas, a consultant to Mr. James on a medical marijuana company that has been battling with the state over its licensing of the product.
“Our dinner with that couple was a game changer, and after that, Andy felt really strongly that Illinois families should not have to move to Colorado for these young patients to get the best medical marijuana product that is out there,” Lucas said.
Mr. James, 51, the CEO of PM Rx, died Thursday, April 9, at his Kenilworth home, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
A cause of death awaits further testing, the office said.
The company was involved in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois over its pending efforts to secure a license to grow medical marijuana.

“Andy’s death shocked and saddened everyone, and the investment group now plans to meet this week to discuss how best to proceed without him as the CEO,” company spokesman Steve Patterson said.
Born on the Fourth of July in 1963 in Indianapolis, Mr. James attended the city’s Park Tudor School, where he still holds the high jump record, family members said.
Later, as a high school student at The Hotchkiss School, a boarding school in Lakeville, Conn., Mr. James earned 11 varsity letters in sports, including basketball, football and golf, while spending the summers of his youth sailing and water skiing at Indiana’s Lake Maxinkuckee, according to his family.
A graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans and Indiana University’s School of Law, Mr. James started as an intern at Chicago’s Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella law firm, and went on to become a partner.
“He excelled as an attorney and litigator, but he was interested in a career change, so he got into commercial real estate, and eventually became a client of our firm,” said John Stephens, an attorney at the Chicago law firm.
After hearing that Mr. James had filed a lawsuit against the state because his company was denied a license to cultivate medical marijuana at a farm in Kankakee, Ill., Stephens said …Read More

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