The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has unveiled their list of companies that will provide health and safety training to the state’s cannabis dispensary operators, the Associated Press reports. According to the agency, “at least half” of the 26 providers are minority-owned.
The Chicago-based division of longtime cannabis advocacy organization NORML is one of the approved trainers; as is Oakton Community College, which this semester began offering a cannabis-focused certificate program.
“They’re looking for people who know how to work with chronically ill patients and understand what they need. They’re not looking for enthusiasts who love to use the product.” — Ileo Lott, vice president for academic affairs at Oakton Community College, via the Chicago Tribune
Companies representing Illinois come from Cook, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Will, and Sangamon counties; other companies come from Iowa, Texas, and Florida — none of which have legalized cannabis for adult use.
The announcement comes as officials are rolling out the recreational-use program. Last month, the agency released FAQs for current medical cannabis operators who are seeking an adult-use license for a second site and, earlier this month, rules for businesses seeking to operate in Chicago.
Would-be retailers must receive the training — focused on dispensing, checking identification, and identifying whether someone is impaired — by November 30. After that, newly hired dispensary agents will be required to receive training within 90 days of their hiring date.
Illinois lawmakers approved legislation in June to legalize and regulate the adult-use cannabis industry. The law will take effect starting January 1, 2020, making Illinois the first state to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis sales.
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