Loop Capital head I-Banker joins Cresco’s board; Corporate candy’s cannabis concerns; Grown In’s latest Chillinois podcast appearance

Investment banker Sidney Dillard was named to Cresco Labs’ Board of Directors last week. (Submitted)

Cresco adds Loop Capital Markets partner Sidney Dillard to board of directors

The head of corporate investment banking at one of Chicago’s largest African American-led investment banks is the newest board director at Chicago-based Cresco Labs.

Sidney Dillard, who according to a press release has raised over $600 billion while serving in senior positions at Loop and The Northern Trust Bank, becomes the third African American and second African American woman to sit on the board of publicly traded Cresco.

Cresco’s ties to mainstream investment banks willing to work with companies that sell federally illegal product surfaced earlier this year when it revealed that New York-based Cowen Inc. acted as an advisor to its $213 million acquisition of Florida-based Bluma Wellness.

Dillard’s civic credentials include chairing the board of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and of nonprofit lender IFF.

NY Times Style section chews into how Wrigley and Mondalez and are suing cannabis startups  

Wm. Wrigley and Company, Mondalez, Hershey’s and other leaders of the U.S. candy cartel are lawyering up against gummy companies claiming their product packages are misleadingly kid-friendly. 

As the New York Times deliciously displayed on the cover of its May 23 Style Section, THC-infused edibles with names like Stoner Patch Dummies and Trips Ahoy can be confused with household names they cooked up generations ago. 

“I certainly understand Wrigley’s concerns about having its intellectual property used by a third party,” intellectual property attorney Nancy J. Mertzel told the Times. “Those concerns are exacerbated when it’s for a product that children really shouldn’t be getting.”

When confection industry luminaries are not pouting with pot companies, they are cross-pollinating into that market. Most famously, Wrigley namesake and former CEO William “Beau” Wrigley runs Atlanta-based multistate operator Parallel, which paid $155 million to acquire six Illinois dispensaries in the state earlier this year. Wrigley’s former strategic director of global strategic facilities Lisa McClung is the CEO Denver-based edibles company Coda Signature. Mondalez CEO Dirk Van de Put told CNBC that his company was investigating how it could infuse CBD into its iconic snacks like Oreos. 

Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, told the Times that his primary focus when combating youth cannabis consumption in the state is edibles.

“A young person won’t accidentally smoke a marijuana cigarette,” he said. 

Chiming in on legalization in the South, J.B. Pritzker’s responsibility in Illinois and more on the Chillinois Podcast

This reporter spent a delightful hour talking about both federal and regional cannabis issues with the Chillinois podcast on May 21.  

The information-packed and ambitiously informal hour touched on Virginia’s slow roll into creating a recreational market, foundational elements related to why social equity entrepreneurs in Illinois remain on the outside looking in, and why it’s no longer relevant to use the word rolodex when describing contacting somebody in one’s network.