A number of former criminal justice figures have found new careers as marijuana entrepreneurs in Illinois, Colorado and Washington state, reports the Associated Press. While neither state regulators nor the medical marijuana industry track the number of employees who were former law enforcement officials, the AP has identified 17 of them in Illinois. Many have outsized influence — from a trustee of the state’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police to one-time undercover narcotics officers.
Illinois seems unusual in the degree to which former law enforcement officials are not just working security but taking hands-on roles with patients and leading businesses. They include Terrance Gainer, a former Chicago homicide detective, Illinois State Police director, assistant police chief in Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol police chief and U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms. He advises Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries. Other players in Illinois include retired Will County Circuit Judge Robert Livas, co-founder of a company licensed to open two Chicago-area marijuana dispensaries; a former Chicago-area assistant state’s attorney who handled gang crimes and now is vice president of a company that owns a dispensary, and an ex-Cook County prosecutor-turned- general counsel of PharmaCannis, the state’s single largest pot provider with four dispensaries and two indoor growing operations.