David Ittel

David Ittel

In this Oct.6, 2014, photo, David Ittel checks on habanero plants growing in his Brew & Grow Chicago store that are in a positive pressure tent under the latest technology Double Ended High Pressure Sodium system from Sunlight Supply. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

In this Oct.6, 2014, photo, David Ittel checks on habanero plants growing in his Brew & Grow Chicago store that are in a positive pressure tent under the latest technology Double Ended High Pressure Sodium system from Sunlight Supply. Ittel has sold indoor gardening supplies for three decades at his shops in Illinois and Wisconsin. As Illinois and other states legalize medical marijuana, there’s one stage in the process that nobody wants to talk about. After growers obtain licenses, plan for security and build their facilities, they’re still one small step away from a legal crop. They have to obtain seeds or cuttings while regulators turn a blind eye. But that means breaking the law. Ittel’s customers know they’ll be asked to vacate the premises if they mention growing marijuana, but while he won’t acknowledge that the light timers and water pumps he sells have been used in illegal operations, he’s now meeting with aspiring medical marijuana business owners in Illinois. He’s offering his expertise on climate control, nutrients and irrigation through another of his companies, Alternative Garden Supply. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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