The medical marijuana program for Illinois was put into place on Jan 1st 2014. Meant to run for four years, one year into the program and it hasn’t even started yet.
Lawsuits against the program have halted its progress thanks to state regulators believing the licenses have been mishandled for dispensaries. And lawmakers are becoming increasingly concerned as to the costs for businesses and the issue of medical marijuana patients not getting the treatment they need.
A hearing has been scheduled in Chicago to try and lift the temporary restraining order which has been given to one marijuana grower, preventing them from getting their license.
Illinois is the 20th state in the U.S to legalize medical marijuana, but the law has been criticized for being too narrow. Currently, patients in Illinois aren’t allowed to grow their own weed like many other states are. The law allows patients to purchase 2.5oz of pot once every two weeks at a 1% tax on all purchases. That’s the exact same rate that is imposed on pharmaceuticals. Dispensaries pay 7% product tax and state regulated property tax. There are currently 60 marijuana shops and 22 grow areas allowed in the state.
As well, there are currently around 36 medical conditions which can be prescribed marijuana in Illinois. These include HIV, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. Around 18,400 patients in Illinois have registered to receive medical marijuana treatment but only 1,600 have been accepted.
Another lawsuit was filed last month, stating that the state may have allowed certain applicants to affect the overall decision. Cresco Labs is the defendant, having had their license suspended temporarily as the suit goes to court.