Illinois Moves Forward with Medical Marijuana Rules

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Illinois lawmakers have heard the people’s mandate on cannabis and they are actually doing their jobs! Things have been progressing nicely for the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Rules have been approved and will  be set in place for the state’s medical marijuana program that will allow patients to begin applying for cards this fall. If all goes well, there could be retail sales of medical cannabis in Illinois by early 2015!

While some rules and regulations still need to be established, there is already progress. A state-run laboratory is in the process of being converted to a testing facility for cannabis, though the guidelines for testing have yet to be established. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will have to test for mold, pesticides, and potency of cannabis (as well as medibles and cannabis concentrates).

Businesses hoping to grow or sell cannabis will be able to apply for licenses as early as this September. Cultivators will have to pay a steep $200,000 licensing fee and will be required to have an additional $500,000 in liquid assets. Dispensaries will have to pay a $30,000 licensing fee and have $400,000 in liquid assets.

Before you get ready to take a trip to Chicago to check out their dispensaries, you should probably double-check the Illinois medical marijuana law. It’s a very restrictive law that does not allow for use for chronic pain, insomnia, or any psychological or emotional conditions. Instead, patients have to be officially diagnosed with one of several dozen serious conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, interstitial cystitis, or Parkinson’s. Thankfully, those that qualify will only have to pay $100 for their license.

Ladybud will continue tracking this and other state medical cannabis programs as they develop. Read more medical cannabis coverage here.


Photo Credit: JeffieAlex under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons