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FBI approves Illinois marijuana business background checks

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CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois officials say the FBI has approved the use of its criminal history records for out-of-state and federal background checks of medical marijuana business owners.

Two state licensing agencies announced the FBI approval Tuesday.

The Associated Press first reported last week that Gov. Bruce Rauner had awarded the marijuana business licenses before out-of-state criminal background checks could be performed. At the time, the Illinois State Police were still waiting for the FBI to approve access to its database.

Illinois officials said Tuesday they’ll make sure the criminal background checks are conducted prior to the initial operation of any marijuana farm or retail shop.

Illinois medical cannabis program coordinator Bob Morgan says full background checks of marijuana business owners and employees are needed to maintain the integrity of the program.