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Illinois’ First Medical Cannabis Sales Expected in Two Weeks

Illinois’ First Medical Cannabis Sales Expected in Two Weeks

In 2013, Illinois joined the ranks of states throughout the US where the medicinal use of cannabis is legal, and after a two year delay, approved patients may finally have safe, reliable access to medicine before the end of the year. Illinois medical cannabis program officials have announced, to the relief of many patients and families, that for the first time in the state’s history, legal medical sales are expected to begin in the next two weeks.

Final approval has only been given to four dispensaries in the metro Chicago area, but several more are expected to be licensed in the near future. The program’s director, Joseph Wright stated,

“A total of approximately 12 to 15 dispensaries should be registered by the end of November. Eight or 9 of those will be located in the Chicagoland area.”

Anticipating the first day of legal sales, some Illinois-grown cannabis has reportedly already been processed and packaged, but dispensaries are not permitted to sell anything until they have access to the state’s medical cannabis database. Access to the database is required in order for dispensaries to be able to verify each patients’ information and program approval status. Once access is granted, at least a few dispensaries will be ready to begin sales immediately.

Many of the medical cannabis patients in Illinois are expected to be inexperienced when it comes to using the plant, and because cannabis affects every person differently, many may have to go through a trial-and-error period before finding the best strains, amounts and methods of consumption to treat their condition. In an effort to reduce the trial-and-error period for patients and to share important information, one medical cannabis company in Illinois — Cresco Labs — has launched a $1 million campaign to help educate patients and non-patients alike.

While excitement levels are at an all-time high for medical cannabis patients and activists, there is also a darker underlying issue to be faced in Illinois. By the time medical cannabis is legally available for purchase, Illinois will be about halfway through the initial four-year pilot program. If Gov. Bruce Rauner does not reauthorize the Illinois cannabis program in 2017, it will expire and cease to exist. Earlier this year, Gov. Rauner vetoed expanding the program to include 11 more conditions.

First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Gets License in Illinois

First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Gets License in Illinois

Cannabis advocates and patients in Illinois have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for safe access to medicinal cannabis. The state’s controversial bill has been in limbo for some time and is often criticized for being so restrictive.

However, yesterday’s news that the state has issued the first dispensary license to ‘Harbory,’ a facility located in Marion, Illinois is a good sign for events to come.

From WQAD:

A facility in Marion, Illinois, is the state’s first officially-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Dispensaries must be registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to dispense medical cannabis they get from a state-registered cultivation center. The dispensary has to have a business registration, and principal officers and employees must also be licensed separately before the dispensary can open for business in Illinois, according to a statement from the IDFPR.

Harbory, at 8195 Express Drive in Marion, is now licensed to operate as a medical cannabis dispensary.

There has been no word of when the dispensary will be able to make it’s first sale, as the state’s cultivator’s just recently started putting seeds in the ground. Albeit a small one – this a historic step is crucial for the cannabis movement to continue to spread throughout the Midwest.

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