Illinois governor appoints Danielle Perry as cannabis czar

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has chosen a new marijuana chief to oversee the state’s industry.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Pritzker appointed former Obama administration insider Danielle Perry as Illinois’ cannabis regulation oversight officer.

Perry will begin her job after being confirmed by the state Senate.

She will be the second person appointed to the job, following former state Sen. Toi Hutchinson.

Hutchinson had to step down because of a state law prohibiting former lawmakers from holding jobs that were created while they were in office.

Perry will take the reins amid an industry expansion in the state and as a number of entrepreneurs eagerly await results from a new licensing round that will significantly add to the number of legal marijuana businesses.

Before accepting the Illinois post, Perry:

  • Oversaw an agriculture job training program.
  • Served as communications director at the Chicago Inspector General’s office.
  • Was a member of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s transition committee.
  • Served in President Barack Obama’s Department of Agriculture.

A spokeswoman for the Cannabis Association of Illinois told Crain’s Chicago Business that Perry is a “perfect fit” for her new assignment.