Jan 022015
 January 2, 2015

Illinois medical marijuana hb 1Illinois has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the nation. The list of qualifying conditions is short compared to many other states, and even if a patient can qualify, there will be no way to obtain medical marijuana until licensed growers are established and a limited number of dispensaries are in place. To make matters worse, patients are having a very hard time finding a doctor that will approve them as medical marijuana patients. Per WREX:

Area doctors say lack of research in the region is making them hesitant to approve marijuana prescriptions.

That means many of the epilepsy foundation’s clients won’t be able to start treatment by the start of 2015.

“They quit calling back because I keep saying we haven’t found anyone yet, we are working on it. But I get calls everyday. So far, I have not found any doctors who will prescribe,” Epilepsy Foundation Director of Client Services, Barbara Vern-Lau said.

There are issues on rolling out business licenses for growers and dispensaries too. A goal was in place to have licenses issued by the end of 2014, but that goal deadline passed, and Illinois’ Governor is not providing any explanation for the delays. Per the News Observer:

Without explanation, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has conceded it missed its end-of-the-year target for deciding which businesses will receive permits to begin the state’s pilot program with medical marijuana. Some observers think the decision could come in a matter of days.

The lag will force cultivation center owners to break ground during the coldest winter months, and, ultimately, delay harvest of the first cannabis crop. Patients who’ve paid $100 for marijuana registry cards will have to wait, perhaps until summer or beyond, before they can legally use the drug. Some patients say they’ll continue to use pot they’ve obtained on the black market.

The issues being experience in Illinois remind me of the issues that faced New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. Leery doctors and a lot of license foot dragging, combined with an already restrictive program, is not good news for patients in Illinois, or those that are trying to get in on the industry side of things in Illinois. I talked to an investor recently that has spend a tremendous amount of time and money trying to obtain a cultivation license in Illinois, and he expressed quite a bit of frustration with the process. I’d imagine delays in announcing licenses can only add to that frustration.

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  • MrPC

    “Area doctors say lack of research in the region is making them hesitant to approve marijuana prescriptions.” Does that mean doctors in Illinois don’t have Internet access or mail delivery and can’t see the research that has been conducted all over the world, and they need their own Illinois-brand of research? Or maybe they are just covering their butts…

    • Duder

      Maybe those doctors can bail ship on their nixon groupthink institutions and start their own clinics finally.

    • Angela Renee

      Sounds like maybe they just want some grant money thrown at them to repeat known results like most…

  • Lawrence Goodwin

    The anti-“marihuana” tyranny at the federal level is the root cause of this delay in Illinois–and every other state that’s slow as molasses, like my own, New York. A federal repeal is the ONLY action that can change the dynamic in favor of cannabis advocates. The federal ban on this entire plant species gives loudmouth naysayers like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie the platform on which to arrogantly spout nonsense about cannabis. For 44 years, thanks to a-hole in chief President Richard Nixon, state officials have pointed to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which ignorantly labels “marihuana” as having no accepted medical value and serious risks of abuse. Both statements are complete LIES. Cannabis plant extracts–straight from the plants’ female flowers–were prescribed as medicine by doctors in the United States for nearly 90 years
    (!850-1940s). What do you mean they have “no accepted medical value”? Today, doctors are afraid of running afoul of that law, or they are basically being bribed by sales people from pharmaceutical giants. Also, recent scientific studies have shown that about 9 percent of cannabis consumers become dependent–far fewer than consumers of truly dangerous legal products like alcohol or nicotine. Flood your U.S. representatives’ and senators’ offices with old-fashioned letters, emails, calls and polite visits. Demand an immediate repeal of federal “marihuana” prohibition. Do the same to President Barack Obama, whose administration offers the ONLY glimpse of hope (new life for cannabis plants) since the dark days of Nixon.

    • john

      This was so well put I had to post it on my Facebook page…John Bauschard

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    WREX is in my town. Illinois is setting up a bunch of legal cartels.

    I am resolved to get the government out of the business altogether. No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes. At any level. We don’t want illegal cartels. We don’t want legal cartels.

    We have done enough begging on our knees to make our point. It is now time to stand on our feet and demand what Eric Garner demanded. “It stops today.” – “Don’t touch me.” – “Just leave me alone.”

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    Illinois is a mob state. So is NJ. Any questions?

    • john

      Patients who’ve paid $100 for marijuana registry cards will have to wait, perhaps until summer or beyond. If I only get 6 months from my card I paid $100 for, which was for a whole year, then the state of Illinois better plan on giving me a $50 refund.

  • BoSoxBoy

    Don’t read too much into it – State of IL is just plain inept.

  • Whyiowa4medical

    Isn’t Chicago and its suburbs already doing fair priced business? I thought to bypass the volumes of paperwork, and up to $3.2 million Chicago enacted home rule and is operating a fine business!!! I shows as the closest dispensary to me. For now.

  • john

    Patients who’ve paid $100 for marijuana registry cards will have to
    wait, perhaps until summer or beyond. If I only get 6 months from my
    card I paid $100 for, which was for a whole year, then the state of
    Illinois better plan on giving me a $50 refund.