ALUMNI PROFILE Jonathan Loiterman (JD/MBA ’08)
Law degree provides a platform for unique career possibilities
Jonathan Loiterman (JD/MBA'08) always knew that someday he would start his own business. Growing up in the western suburbs, he began studying memoirs of the great CEOs of the 20th Century as a teen.
"Generally, there are only two ways to become an executive," he said from his farm in Jacksonville, Oregon, where he has lived for the past five years. "You either start at the bottom and work your way up, or you start something new."
After spending nine years as a litigator with the Chicago firm Lowis & Gellen, LLP, Loiterman left the practice in 2014, raised nearly $3 million in a private placement and founded Green Star Growing, Inc., a 38-acre cannabis farm in Oregon's Applegate Valley. Green Star is an Oregon-based cannabis grower, processor, and wholesaler licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and considered the premier producer of full-spectrum, CO2-extracted cannabis oil.
According to Loiterman, his community-oriented business has furnished comfort and relief to thousands of medical cannabis patients around Oregon, while offering wholesome cannabis products for adults over 21.
“I hope to inspire students to look at their education and experience in the law as a training ground for an entrepreneurial venture. It's a great way to leverage your legal skills to provide yourself with unlimited opportunities if you think beyond a practice.”
As an alumnus who entered Loyola's dual-degree program in 2004, Loiterman is uniquely qualified for his leadership position in this new sector. He earned a JD in 2008 with a Health Law Certificate from the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy and an MBA in accounting from the Quinlan School of Business that same year.
Professor Larry Singer, JD, director of the Beazley Institute, stayed in touch with Loiterman over the years and says of his former student, “Jonathan has always brought to his work passion, curiosity, and an understanding of the intersection of law and business. His progression to CEO of a cutting-edge organization allows him to take all that he learned at Loyola and put it into practice.”
While in school, Loiterman clerked at Lowis & Gellen, where he defended medical malpractice, pharmaceutical, and medical-device product liability cases. He then practiced for six years, focusing on insurance defense litigation.
In 2013, he became chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee for the Illinois State Bar Association's Health Section. In August of that year, former Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. As CLE chair, the duty fell to Loiterman to prepare educational content for Illinois lawyers about the ethical and practical considerations of representing patients, physicians, and cannabis businesses under this new law.
"I put a program together and began to realize that this new bill was the tip of the iceberg. California and Oregon had passed similar laws in the 1990s, so I viewed Illinois' law as marking a sea-change in national policy."