Illinois Dept. of Agriculture appoints new cannabis and hemp regulator

David Lakeman (Facebook)

The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced David Lakeman, a regulator for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, started as the Cannabis Division Manager on September 1. Lakeman, who will oversee medicinal and adult-use cannabis for the department, as well as the state’s hemp program, replaces Jeff Cox, who departed government in June for consulting work.

The Department of Agriculture has oversight responsibility for Illinois’ cannabis cultivation sites as well as the anticipated licenses for cannabis craft grow, infuser, and transport operations. Those licenses were expected to be announced this month, but as the recent dispensary license announcement cast a shadow on all cannabis license awards, a department spokesperson said there is no scheduled announcement date.

In Massachusetts, Lakeman worked on writing the state’s cannabis regulations, a significant task since the majority of that state’s cannabis law comes from regulation, as the enacting law is actually quite slim, compared to the in-depth laws passed by the Illinois and Michigan legislatures.

Lakeman also served as a staffer for former Congressman Jerry Costello, the father of Illinois Agriculture Secretary Jerry Costello II. He also previously served in Illinois government as a legislative liaison for the Department of Corrections and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.