Michigan could face competition after Illinois legislature approves recreational pot

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When Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs legislation legalizing recreational marijuana later this month, it will set up a race for the Midwest.

Who gets to be first in the Midwest to kick off the market for legal weed and capitalize on a potential billion dollar industry, Michigan or Illinois?

Michigan voters got a head start, voting in November 2018 to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. The ballot proposal, however, gave state regulators until December 2019 to write the rules and regulations that will govern the marijuana marketplace and begin accepting applications for business licenses.

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But Illinois lawmakers, took a much different approach, approving a 700-page bill that legalized marijuana on May 31 and set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2020, to get the market off the ground.

 “Being the leader in the Midwest would be terrific,” said Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, one of the sponsors of the legalization bill. “We could become a real hub for the cannabis industry, not just in the Midwest, but in the rest of the country.” [Read more at Detroit Free Press]