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US (IL): From state regulations to finding financing, cannabis craft growers face multiple obstacles

Craft grower cannabis licenses are supposed to help Black and brown communities, yet only one business is open.
Reese Xavier has a vision for a vacant strip mall in south suburban Chicago Heights centered around Illinois’ newest billion-dollar industry: cannabis.

A craft grow operation, kitchen, dispensary, and consumption lounge will eventually replace what years ago used to be a hardware store, a boxing gym, a resale shop, and a tax preparer.

After spending 25 years in corporate training and development, he decided in 2019 to start HT23 Growers.

“I thought if I could find a company that could be rooted in the community, that could provide economic opportunity, maybe that could change things around,” Xavier said. “And I thought maybe cannabis could be the tool to make that happen.”


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