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Medical marijuana's big business lures ex-law enforcers in Illinois
With fewer than 4,000 approved patients, the nascent medical marijuana business in Illinois is off to a slow start. Yet it hasn't kept away a cadre of cannabis entrepreneurs who once relied on guns, badges, tough drug laws and lengthy prison sentences to fight the drug.
While neither state regulators nor the medical marijuana industry track the number of employees who were former law enforcement officials, The Associated Press has identified no fewer than 17 in Illinois, many of whom have outsized influence — from a trustee of the state's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police to one-time undercover narcotics officers.
"Who better would you want to oversee your compliance than a cop?" said Scott Abbott, a retired Illinois State Police colonel paid to help a company adhere to the state's strict laws and regulations at two dispensaries.
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