Prominent Chicago-based lobbyist Ted Brunsvold quietly entered Illinois’ pot industry three years ago when he helped open a medical dispensary near Rock Island.
Now, as the state prepares to fully legalize marijuana, Brunsvold is planning to dramatically grow the business. His investment in the cannabis industry hasn’t previously been reported.
Brunsvold, the son of the late Democratic state Rep. Joel Brunsvold, partnered with a group of investors in 2016 to open Nature’s Treatment, a medical pot shop located in Milan about 10 miles from the Iowa border. Brunsvold’s childhood friend Matt Stern, an Anheuser-Busch distributor in the area, serves as the company’s co-owner.
“We’ve got a great record down there,” Brunsvold told the Chicago-Sun Times. “We work really well with the locals.”
Under the new pot law, an existing medical marijuana clinic can be converted into a dual-use store and owners can open a standalone recreational dispensary for each medical license they currently hold. Brunsvold said his company is now planning to break ground on its second dispensary location in Galesburg, which was approved earlier this month by the local city council but still needs to receive the go-ahead from state officials.
But Brunsvold doesn’t intend to stop there.
He and his partners could potentially own a total of 10 Illinois pot shops, the state’s limit for a single company. However, it’s unclear how many additional dispensaries Nature’s Treatment will eventually open and where exactly they will crop up.
“We’re working through that,” Brunsvold said while acknowledging the company is planning a major expansion.
Recently, Brunsvold has established himself as a vital player in the state’s nascent weed game after joining the board of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, a powerful trade group that was spun out of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois.
Meanwhile, Brunsvold continues to lead