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Medical MJ CEO Andrew James, 51, dies


A medical marijuana company CEO and former real estate principal unexpectedly died in his home Thursday. Andrew James, 51, served as a managing principal for Paine/Wetzel TCN Worldwide before becoming the head of PMRx, a Kankakee-based startup trying to obtain a medical marijuana license under new state laws. Before that, he was the Midwest regional partner for DP Partners and an SVP with Duke Realty Corp, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. At Duke, Andrew's group was named the Industrial Sales Team of the Year in 2004, and in 2007 the company was named Developer of the Year by Crain's. PMRx has been followed closely by many in the burgeoning medical marijuana industry after it sued the state over perceived flaws in its licensing process. Andrew's longtime friend John Stephens, an attorney with the firm Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, where Andrew worked before making the career switch to real estate, called Andrew "the perfect plaintiff" for the case thanks to his knowledge of the industry and the courts.[Sun-Times