8 Government Movers and Shakers to Watch Pete Kadens Green Thumb International CEO Age: 40 BACKSTORY: Kadens started three companies before entering cannabis, including a solar energy business that was sold to the Fortune 500 firm Edison International. In 2016, Kadens became CEO of Chicago-based Green Thumb, a medical marijuana holding company with licenses for 19 verti- cally integrated MMJ businesses in five states. Kadens is among the MJ entrepreneurs who emphasize both philanthropy and profit. He’s chairman of StreetWise, a nonprofit that supports the homeless, and CEO of Purpose Investors, his own venture, which funds businesses that have a significant social impact. Kadens also has sought to woo communities through open letters in local newspapers where Green Thumb wants to enter. WHY TO WATCH: If Green Thumb continues to expand successfully, it won’t just become one of the more powerful multistate players. Kadens and his company would also demonstrate to industry leaders that it’s OK to be a loud and socially conscious cannabis executive. BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: Expansion. “I’d love us to have three times more patient-consumer interac- tions in 2018 versus 2017. In conjunction with this, we always want to increase patient-consumer retention year-over-year, a clear signal that we are improving our customer experience,” Kadens wrote in an email. “To achieve this, we need to continue to deliver on our commitment to successfully achieve on schedule and on budget construction of our grow, process and retail facilities.” GTI also hopes to expand into Ohio and Arkansas, but that depends on whether it can win licenses there. 62 • Marijuana Business Magazine • January 2018 PATRICK BROWN: With current Ontario Pre- mier Kathleen Wynne facing possible election defeat this spring, it could fall on Opposition Leader Brown to roll out the legalization plan for Canada’s largest province. Will the pro-busi- ness Progressive Conserva- tive allow private retailers? Good question. Brown is keeping his cards close to his chest. PHIL MURPHY: The incom- ing governor of New Jer- sey famously pledged to legalize rec- reational marijuana in his state within his first 100 days in office. It’s now on him and the Democrati- cally controlled legislature to deliver on that promise. If successful, New Jersey could become a billion-dol- lar marijuana market within a few years of its launch. GAVIN NEWSOM: Newsom is arguably the frontrunner in the California governor’s race – which will be decided in November. As lieutenant governor, he was a vocal supporter of recrea- tional marijuana legaliza- tion in 2016. Taken together, Newsom could be in a major position of power to influ- ence cannabis policy in the world’s largest marijuana market – assuming he wins, of course. DANA ROHRABACHER: As a longstand- ing congres- sional Republi- can – and an ally of President Donald Trump – Rohrabacher has been the tip of the spear in the U.S. House of Representa- tives in protecting cannabis businesses with the Rohra- bacher-BlumenauerAmend- ment. He’s also one of the co-founders of the Congres- sional Cannabis Caucus, and if anyone in Congress will be able to bend the ears of Government leaders will help shape the North American cannabis industry this year – for better or for worse. The following eight movers and shakers, listed in alphabetical order, are among those worth keeping tabs on in 2018.