By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – A new consultancy/public relations/lobbying firm is open in downtown Springfield, and the people behind it know their way around politics and government.
Springfield native and former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and former State Sen. Toi Hutchinson are among the people at Mercury, whose local office is in the former cigar shop at Sixth and Monroe. The space was more recently the district office for Congressmen Darin LaHood and Aaron Schock.
Hutchinson, who helped legalize cannabis in Illinois and later worked in a couple of cannabis-related positions, says she is helping other states looking into cannabis as well.
“Mercury is in twenty different states,” Hutchinson told WJBC News at an opening reception Wednesday, “and we have a number of different states that are active in the cannabis space, and we are also building that expertise here, I come from not only drafting the original piece of legislation, but standing up the industry here with all of the hiccups and fits and starts and the good things we did in criminal justice reform and community reinvestment, and we’ve become a model for other states around the country.”
Hutchinson used to be the Pritzker administration’s cannabis czar and also led a not-for-profit cannabis trade group.
Mercury is in the old cigar shop at Sixth and Monroe, more recently used as a district office for Congressmen Darin LaHood and Aaron Schock.
Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]