Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Patients have had to endure a lot of waiting as the state set up rules for the medical marijuana, licensed medical marijuana growers and distributors, and after that, had to wait for the medical marijuana to be actual grown and sent to licensed dispensaries to be distributed. The road has been long, and full of bumps, but tomorrow is the day that patients are allowed to legally make their first purchases of medical marijuana in Illinois. Per ABC Chicago:
More than 3,000 patients with Illinois-issued ID cards will be able to buy medical marijuana legally for the first time Monday, according to the state official overseeing the pilot program.
Eight licensed dispensaries are authorized to start selling cannabis on that day, program director Joseph Wright told The Associated Press. The number will grow to a dozen dispensaries by the end of the month and up to 25 by the end of the year, Wright said.
More than two years after Illinois enacted its medical cannabis law, growers on Friday began shipping their products to dispensaries around the state, following instructions sent to them by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. A statewide digital tracking system has been launched to prevent any diversion of marijuana to the black market.
The obvious questions that I have, and I’m sure many others are wondering the same thing, is how much will the medicine cost, and of what quality will it be? I’m also curious if there will be supply shortages, which often is the case when sales first begin via a very restricted program. But, with not that many patients signed up to the program, that could prove to not be an issue. Illinois’ medical marijuana program is in need of a lot of improvement, but tomorrow should still be celebrated because for the first time in Illinois’ medical marijuana program’s troubled history, patients will finally have safe, legal access to medical marijuana.