Chicago-based MSO Green Thumb Industries (GTI) has been targeted in a federal probe, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
- The story suggests the probe involves "possible pay-to-play violations" as it applied for licenses.
- It's not clear what specific actions by the company have attracted attention. GTI has been active in the political and regulatory processes which legalized MED and REC in the state.
- No charges have been filed against Green Thumb and the company said it was unaware of any such investigation. CEO and founder Ben Kovler tweeted that the company is reaching out to authorities to engage with the allegations. "We stand by our hard earned accomplishments."
- The company operates in 15 states and generated $500M+ in revenue last year.
- Illinois' REC program is heavily weighted in favor of a few large companies. In an interview with WeedWeek, one observer called it a "state-mandated oligopoly."
- Kovler, a private equity manager, descends from the family which started the Jim Beam empire a century ago.
- Illinois' 16,000 industry workers could be forced to unionize.