Ex-law Enforcement Officers Forging Second Careers In Legal Marijuana Industry | Fox News

Abbott is the director of security and compliance with Health Central, Lewis is the director of finance and human resources for Health Central and Greer is with LRS Network Support. (Steve Nagy/Belleville News-Democrat via AP) COLLINSVILLE, Ill. 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. The pull of such post-police jobs extends well beyond Illinois, such as Washington state and Colorado, where marijuana is legal for everyone over 21. But industry members in Illinois and beyond say the state is unusual in the degree to which former law enforcement officers are not just working security but taking hands-on roles with patients and leading businesses even with the uncertain future of a four-year pilot program that expires in 2017 and has received lukewarm support from first-term Gov. Bruce Rauner. Many have had a late-stage transformation, coming to see the drug less as a societal harm and more as good public policy and good business. There’s likely no better example than Terrance Gainer, a former Chicago homicide detective, Illinois State Police director, assistant police chief in Washington, D.C., U.S.

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