Jeff Cox, Chief of the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Medicinal Plants, finished his last day at the Department Friday. A spokesperson from the department declined to say who would replace Cox. “We are currently in a transitional period. We thank Jeff for his hard work on elevating the hemp and cannabis industries in the state of Illinois,” wrote spokesperson Krista Lisser.
Cox, who has been bureau chief since 2016, played a visible role in the state’s regulation of cannabis and hemp cultivation, and was instrumental in the drafting of the state’s recreational cannabis laws, passed in June 2019.
“Just being able to stand up a regulatory system during a hostile administration, and do it so that it is a model for the rest of the country is a pretty monumental achievement,” State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14) said of Cox. Cassidy was the lead sponsor of the 2019 legislation that legalized recreational cannabis in Illinois.
“Jeff was a critical component to the success of both the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program and Adult Use Launch displaying an amazing ability to balance the needs of government, patients, consumers and industry members creating a winning situation for everyone…he will be missed,” said John Sullivan, Cresco Labs SVP of Government Affairs.