Global accounting giant KPMG received a nearly $7M no-bid contract from Illinois to assess license applicants. Those applicants are now on hold in part because of KPMG’s COVID-related travel ban, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
- “Officials’ decision to go with an out-of-state firm was to prevent insiders from getting a leg up in the process,” the paper reports. “The delays lengthened the head start already given to the existing clout-heavy pot firms, including some that are publicly traded and another that counts a high-powered lobbyist as an investor. That’s helped them profit even more from the robust weed sales during the pandemic.”
- The firm is still expected to rate more than 800 applicants at a rate of $2,500 each. The delays have fallen especially hard on equity applicants.
- KPMG declined to respond to questions.
- New Cannabis Ventures’ American Cannabis Operator Index climbed 26.7% in July.