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US (IL): After corruption scandal, dem insider finds second career in cannabis

For decades, Mike Noonan was the consummate Illinois political insider. He aggressively worked on Democratic campaigns in all sorts of communities and was a big player in the behind-the-scenes jostling over legislation at the state Capitol.

After years as a staffer and top political operative for longtime Democratic boss Michael Madigan, Noonan was a lobbyist with a long roster of clients in Springfield. But a corruption scandal ended Madigan’s long reign last year. And since then, Noonan has left Illinois entirely.

Last summer, Noonan began what he hopes will be a mellower second career as an owner of an organic cannabis farm and certified “ganjier” in this small city in southwest Michigan.

Noonan, 54, says he’s done with politics in Illinois and is dedicating himself fully to fighting for “the craft cannabis revolution” in his new home on the other side of Lake Michigan.

Read more at wbez.org


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