This past Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved the proposed rules for Illinois’ new medical marijuana program. Here are ten facts about the new system:
1. The law allows for 21 marijuana cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries. The law does not allow for a cultivation and dispensary combination structure.
2. Registration fees are $100 and $50 for eligible patients on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance.
3. A 15-member Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee including patients, a health care provider, and nurse practitioners with experience working with medical marijuana patients will review each application.
4. Illinois has the strictest medical marijuana laws among the 23 states with approved medical marijuana programs.
5. Only patients with a debilitating medical condition are eligible to apply for medical marijuana treatment. Some of those medical conditions include:
- Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s
6. Patients with a last name beginning with A-L will be able to apply in September and October, and patients with a last name beginning with M-Z will be able to apply in November and December. It takes roughly 30 days for the Committee to review an application.
7. Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, but most federal prosecutors have chosen not to target medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivators, prescribing doctors, or patients.
8. Medical marijuana won’t be available in Illinois until sometime next year because the cultivators must first obtain the license then begin the growing process.
9. There are 100,000 to 200,000 patients that will be eligible to participate in program based on documented medical conditions.
10. Patients are advised to begin having talks with their physicians and caregivers if they intend to apply for participation in the program.
Check out the full text of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and Chicago Tribune and Sun Times articles. Check back here for updates regarding Illinois’ medical marijuana law and contact the Law Offices of Laura J. Morask with any questions!