CHICAGO (CBS) — An African-American owned company in Chicago has applied to become one of the first firms to obtain a license to grow and sell medical marijuana.

Illinois Grown Medicine was created to compete for some of the dozens of medical marijuana licenses the state will grant.

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Former investment banker Les Hollis, CEO of Illinois Grown Medicine, said his company wants to grow and sell medicinal cannabis. The state requires separate licenses for marijuana growing operations and for dispensaries.

“We think that this industry will be around. … The universe of participants will grow, both in terms of the patients that can get access to this medicine, as well as the people providing the resources to grow the medicine,” he said.

The state has said it will approve up to 21 cultivation centers, and up to 60 retail dispensaries across the state.

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“I think what the state’s going to be evaluating is who’s got the best assemblage of people, and who’s got the best plan,” Hollis said. “We will soon find out how the state viewed these applicants.”

The state has mandated security measures for medical marijuana operations, to prevent them from becoming targets for robbery. The city also has required such businesses that operate in Chicago to provide private security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Banking regulations prohibit medical marijuana businesses from using federally-insured banks, effectively requiring them to operate entirely in cash, so Hollis said his experts have plans to keep facilities secure.

“Inside of a dispensary, you’ll see an ATM machine typically, if you go to these dispensaries across the country,” he said. “So, it isn’t the case that people have to come across town with wads full of money.”

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Hollis said he hopes federal banking rules eventually will change so medical marijuana businesses can accept checks, credit cards, and other forms of payment.