illinois marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Illinois Needs To Expand Its Medical Marijuana Program

illinois marijuana
(via firedoglake.com)

I have been following Illinois’ medical marijuana program woes since the beginning. After a very hard fought battle to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois, a lot of activists took a moment to congratulate each other on the victory. Around that same time, companies were eyeing Illinois’ soon to be established medical marijuana industry hoping to cash in. Reps from these companies would throw around outlandish numbers, claiming that Illinois would be one of the biggest profit opportunities in the industry almost overnight. Boy were they in for a rude awakening.

I met a few people from some of these companies, and they would all argue with me until they were blue in the face about how big Illinois’ medical marijuana program would be, and how that would lead to unparalleled business opportunities. I told them over and over that as the Illinois medical marijuana law was written, there wouldn’t be that many patients. Certainly not enough to support an industry with almost two dozen industrial growing companies. But they didn’t listen, which seems to always be the case with people with too much money to know what they should actually do with it. The patient statistics have been updated in Illinois, and the numbers have slowed to a crawl. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Illinois has released the latest tally of approved medical marijuana patients in the state, and the figure is a bit disheartening for companies awarded licenses to grow, process and sell medical cannabis.

While the number of patients certified to purchase MMJ has climbed to 2,500 – up from 2,000 a few months ago – the pace of approvals has slowed.

Illinois sent out roughly 200 approval letters in May, down from 300 in April and 400 in March, according to the Associated Press, citing Illinois government data. The number of patients who actually applied for MMJ cards in May improved only slightly month-over-month.

Last I heard, there were still only 18 licensed growers for Illinois, with three more that are yet to be named. When all 21 have been announced and are in operation, and if current numbers stayed the same, each industrial grower would only be serving a little over 100 patients on average. To put that into perspective, Oregon has roughly 1/4 of the citizens that Illinois does, but roughly 28 times as many patients. Illinois needs to expand its program. The current list of qualifying conditions is way too low, and hurts patients and will always hamper the growth of the industry in Illinois until things change.

marijuana business fact book

  • m.m

    yea,if you got a crminal back ground there a good chanch they will deny you application,

  • Robert Morrison

    I am in the process of trying to obtain my Illinois Medical Cannabis Card. The people at Medical Cannabis Outreach in Canton Illinois have been great. I am very impressed with their professionalism and compassion that they have demonstrated. They are truly committed to helping people with the complicated process of obtaining their Medical Card.

  • Good Intentions

    Good Intentions patients account for 10 of the 11 conditions that received preliminary approval from the IL Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. These new conditions will open the door for hundreds of thousands of additional medical marijuana patients. We’re glad we are able to have such an enormous impact on this state’s medical cannabis program. Visit us at : GoodIntentionsChicago.com

  • Dustin

    I agree 100%. The Illinois Medical Marijuana Program is a joke. Hardly any doctors will sign the paperwork needed to apply. Illinois is so deep in debt yet if they would implement the same things Colorado did they would be raking in millions instead of budget cuts. And me personally, I have more than one condition on the list but with 2 manufacturing marijuana charges from the early nineties when I was 18 and 21 I can’t be a patient. So with that said I will just sit back and die. Thanks governor your a class act idiot.

  • JoeR

    alot of people are probably waiting to apply. I know i am. Whats the point if theres no medicine available. Then youll have that much less time before having to reapply after a year passes.

  • people

    Illinois will not make the money it could because the state and lawmakers dicrminate against health care they will not let people or its citizens get health care just because their have a record if you are free and not in jail you and every human in the USA should get the medical treatment you deserve so Illinois programs and those who invested any money will not make any profits because of the fingerprinting background check for the program everyone deserves health care and medical treatment

  • people

    Illinois will not make the money it could because the state and lawmakers dicrminate against health care they will not let people or its citizens get health care just because their have a record if you are free and not in jail you and every human in the USA should get the medical treatment you deserve so Illinois programs and those who invested any money will not make any profits because of the fingerprinting background check for the program everyone deserves health care and medical treatment

    Newspapers like Chicago sun time , daliy heard,Chicago tribune and all others don’t tell the truth about the discrimination in Illinois they are no better than those who dicrminate they don’t have the guts to tell the truth they are a joke just like the program itself

  • James

    I have been approved since October of last year. The problem is I can’t afford to pay the insane price for a few grams of cannabis.