By Christina Sarich, Natural Society, May 5, 2015
Several Illinois youths considered ‘at risk’ could be looking at a new career in the medical marijuana industry due to a generous donation to the city of Bloomington by Curative Health, Inc. – a medical marijuana corporation based in New York.
In case you’re wondering here is what ‘at-risk’ youth means:
“At risk students, sometimes referred to as at-risk youth, are also adolescents who are less likely to transition successfully into adulthood and achieve economic self-sufficiency.”
The company gave the donation to the city council with the intent to support a local labor program for young adults. Granted, they also were likely greasing the hands of those who could give them a permit to operate a dispensary in Illinois, but nonetheless, it offers a leg up to at-risk teens.
The donation was likely suggested by Mayor Tari Renner – and it could surely benefit Curative Health, Inc. The Pantagraph reports that the company already runs a medical marijuana dispensary in Chicago and is looking to expand into Mayor Renner’s district.
City Attorney Jeff Jurgens believes it will be difficult for the company to obtain a license since dispensary permits have already been issued to other businesses.
Guidelines issued by the state of Illinois actually suggest that those looking for approval for dispensary applications develop relationships with local government offices.
While Curative may have had their own motives in ‘developing a relationship’ with Mayor Renner’s idea of providing summer jobs for at-risk youth, the cash from the company came through nonetheless as a means to support programs that often get overlooked in city and county budgets.
Thus far, the Illinois medical marijuana regulatory guidelines and those of many other states do not offer any protection for those members of the cannabis trade who contribute legal bribes to the municipalities for which they hope to serve.
Curative Health CEO Nicholas Vita thinks that paying preliminary kickbacks is just the cost of doing business—a great opportunity to better the states and communities for which they rely on for survival.
“We view our business as being stewards of programs for the state where there is unmet need,” he said. “And Mayor Renner’s program really resonated with us. It was an unmet need and it seemed to be timely.”
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