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Tight-knit female lawmakers behind legal marijuana have new nickname

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, admitting she’s the most foul-mouthed of the group, said she came up with the name as a counterweight to a more wholesome moniker that had been ascribed to them.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, State Sen. Heather Steans, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, and State Rep. Kelly Cassidy
(From left) Gov. J.B. Pritzker, State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, State Sen. Heather Steans, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, and State Rep. Kelly Cassidy hold up legislation that makes Illinois the nation’s 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use during a bill signing ceremony at Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center on the West Side in June.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

It’s got a nice ring to it. It might stick.

The female state legislators behind the legalization of marijuana in Illinois have a new nickname.

“The Cannabitches.”

Sate Rep. Kelly Cassidy said the name was formed as an inside joke after an NPR Illinois story dubbed the group with a more wholesome moniker: “The Marijuana Moms.”

“And, you know, that was cute and everything, but we were also like, ‘We’re so much more than moms, and what else could we be,’ and we played with words, and probably me — because I’m the most foul-mouthed of the group — said, ‘We should be The Cannabitches,’” Cassidy said. “So that’s just what we started calling ourselves,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy made those remarks at an Executives’ Club of Chicago panel about the future of the cannabis industry.

Other members of the group: State Sens. Heather Steans and Toi Hutchinson, and State Reps. Jehan Gordon-Booth and Celina Villanueva — all Democrats.

“We’ve also joked that that leaves out the guys that were helpful, and what do we call them. And they can be Cannabitches, too,” Cassidy told the crowd at the Palmer House Hilton, adding that her spouse suggested “The Dank Dudes.”

How close are the Cannabitches?

“We’ve spent so much time together that I think our brains have merged,” Cassidy said of their uncanny habit of giving the nearly the exact same answers to questions regarding marijuana legislation.

Cassidy said she anticipates it will take five years for the state’s recreational marijuana industry to fully mature, partially due to the process of moving people out of the street market and into the legitimate market.

“Or, you know, to put it more plainly, it takes some folks time to break up with their weed guy,” she joked. “These are long-term, very loyal relationships.”

Organizations that purchased tables at the event included Mesirow Financial and The Wall Street Journal.

Cassidy’s spouse, Candace Gingrich, recently joined a Florida-based cannabis company Revolution Florida, a sister company to Illinois-based Revolution Enterprises.