As we look to our future and honor our past, It’s incredible to see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. We must celebrate the efforts tasked with the previous board and all of its organizational companions that brought us here, yet there is still so much to be done.
I’m excited for the future of our chapter as we carry on the torch. My passion for consumer protection in the cannabis industry will be expressed through science backed quality assurance information gathered from my SC Labs consultant position that will only strengthen and improve our industry. Our newly formed, diverse, across the state board will collectively take on legislative action for consumer and small business protection as well as building out pathways for the legacy market to have access into the legal market.
It’s an honor to be leading Illinois NORML with this board full of inspiring thoughtleaders who will help further adding good to the world through our work here.
I look forward to uniting for the same cause we all believe in, legal and safe cannabis federally with social equity.
Margo Vesely, Executive Director of IL NORML
We are a 501 c(4) Nonprofit dedicated to lobbying for consumers access to high quality cannabis that is safe, convenient, and affordable in a normalized and de-stigmatized society, while protecting the Cannabis plant and its consumers through safe cannabis resources.
We will continue to protect consumers from harmful, untested or uncertified cannabis products; to educate the public on cannabis issues; and to improve social equity in the cannabis market statewide.
Established in 1970, Illinois NORML is the first of the oldest and largest marijuana legalization organizations in the country. NORML maintains a professional staff in Washington, DC, headed by Executive Director Erik Altieri, and a network of volunteer state and local NORML Chapters across the country.
Since its founding, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana consumers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who use marijuana responsibly.
To define Illinois NORML level of activity as a C4 political organization .
We will concentrate on crafting, sponsoring, and consulting on past, present, & future Cannabis legalization and policies in the State of Illinois.
Margo Vesely is the Founder and CEO of Margojuana, where she’s dedicated her career to inspiring humanity to understand the blessings in plant medicine. Margo is a passionate cannabis advocate, researcher, and entrepreneur with almost two decades of cannabis and legal experience, both in the public and private sectors. She also volunteers as the executive director of the nonprofit IL NORML (National Organization of Reform Marijuana Laws).
Margo strives to use her platforms to share her vision of the future of cannabis, by encouraging continued research for data-driven science, biology, and advocates for laws concerning cannabis. She is passionate about helping the community grow and succeed in this new industry, as well as promoting opportunities within it.
When it comes to cannabis in Illinois, Jermont Montgomery has been a leader in the community outreach and social equity movement. He has fought to ensure that equity is a priority in the now legal cannabis economy and has helped to position the people most impacted by the War on Drugs are able to participate in the cannabis industry. Jermont has been a passionate advocate for fair and equal access to cannabis for all Illinois residents. He has worked hard for those in the legacy market and therefore most negatively affected by the prohibition of cannabis to be able to engage in the newly emerging market place. He has been a vocal advocate for expungement and record sealing.
Jermont is committed to creating a more equitable cannabis economy that welcomes, supports, and empowers those who have been previously incarcerated due to drug arrest and convictions, which are Black People, other people of color, women, and low-income participants. Jermont is on a mission to bring cannabis and hemp to the people, by way of building a cannabis business that will serve as a standard in social and environmental justice.
Jon Ruddick is an entrepreneur and farmer in Harrisburg, Illinois with eleven years in the legal Cannabis industry. But instead of growing corn and soybeans, he grows hemp. Today, Ruddick is still one of the state’s first licensed and continuous hemp farms, but keeps his business small and sells their full line of flower, topicals, and oils in the retail side of his Cannabis Consumption Lounge. He is going to provide a vision for small farmers to get in on the action, and for cannabis entrepreneurs to get their brands and ideas in front of audiences that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to them.
Jon Ruddick was tired of seeing the same old tired themes in the agriculture industry. He wanted to do something different. He became a hemp farmer and cannabis industry advocate. He also opened the second licensed consumption lounge in the state, providing legal cannabis consumption, music, comedy and much more. He’s taking the necessary steps to change the industry.
As a member of the board, Jon’s Pledged to make Illinois the Cannabis capital of the United States. He wants to ensure that we are the number one producer of hemp, and the countless capabilities of the plant. He also wants to work toward ending the cannabis stigma by normalizing use, providing access to growing tools, and establishing a true Cannabis Community in our state with the goals of opening cultivation and dispensing licenses to everyone in the state as well as ensuring all adults have the right to grow their own medicine.
David Long is an extraordinary person with an ability to speak to legislators about the need for cannabis reform that is remarkable. He has the ability to connect with people on a human level and understands the value of a safe place to enjoy cannabis products. I know that the people of Dekalb will stand by him and support his business when his cannabis consumption lounge opens. This is a momentous occasion not only for David and his family, but for the city of Dekalb and the cannabis industry as a whole.
He also has the ability to connect issues with lawmakers on a personal level, and is being able to use that to influence legislation that will better the lives of residents of DeKalb and all of Illinois. David is committed to providing the highest quality cannabis products to the public, and is excited to bring his consumption lounge to the city. This will help revitalize the city’s economy and bring in additional revenue, which can be invested back into the community and the economy.
Tom is an attorney with over 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry, with a focus on helping clients navigate the complex regulatory landscape, helping them successfully navigate the cannabis industry, and advising clients on business, tax, and legal matters.He knows that cannabis has the potential to be a mainstream crop and a major economic engine for rural Illinois. But as he watched the industry evolve, he became frustrated with the lack of diversity and social justice in the weed business. So he changed the industry.
Tom’s tired of the status quo. He believes that cannabis should be legal, and he wants to make that happen.
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