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Illinois Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers Grow, More Growth Needed

illinois marijuana

(via firedoglake.com)

Prior to Illinois issuing medical marijuana business licenses I was in a meeting with a company rep that was trying very hard to get one or more medical marijuana cultivation licenses in Illinois. He had big visions of grandeur for what the program would be like, and boasted a lot about how many business opportunities there would be in Illinois. I was quick to point out to him that Illinois’ list of qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient was very short, and that would largely determine how big Illinois’ medical marijuana industry would be.

I could tell that what I was saying to him was not sinking in. He kept talking about how much bigger Illinois’ population was compared to Oregon’s, and that it will be the biggest opportunity in the marijuana industry for those that are approved for a license in Illinois. Here we are several months later, and the patient numbers in Illinois still haven’t grown to anywhere near Oregon’s numbers, especially when you consider that Illinois has over 3 times as many residents as Oregon. Illinois has seen growth in the number of patients in the state, but the numbers are still very low. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

State health officials reported that roughly 2,500 residents have applied for MMJ cards, an increase of roughly 150% from earlier in March. Thus far, about 1,600 MMJ patient applicants have been approved by the state, according to an Illinois TV station.

That’s good news for the few dozen companies in Illinois that have obtained business permits.

The low patient counts have been of concern to cannabis entrepreneurs in the state. One MMJ company even declined a cultivation license it had been awarded because it was concerned that only 1,000 patients had signed up as of a few weeks ago.

There are two big factors that are at play when it comes to the low numbers in Illinois. The first, which I already covered, is the inadequate list of qualifying conditions in Illinois. The other is the lack of safe access to medical marijuana. Illinois does not allow home cultivation, and the only legal way to obtain medical marijuana is from one of the licensed growers via a licensed dispensary. To date, not one gram of medical marijuana has been sold in Illinois. Once meds start rolling out, I expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of people applying to become a medical marijuana patient in Illinois.

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Johnny Green


  1. crystaldanae on

    Why apply when we can’t get our damn medicine?! JUST TO BE ON A FUCKING LIST?! Just so that when you get pulled over that police officer sees your MMJ card right there on his screen so he can discriminate?

  2. invisible man on

    Illinois does not allow home cultivation… That stinks. This has nothing to do with safety as we all know how safe cannabis/hemp are. This is all about who makes and keeps the money. The “Powers that be” have no intention of giving up control of the cannabis/hemp industries to the people. Totally un-American.

  3. As long as they tax it heavy it is still cheaper on the black market! Just legalize it 100% and regulate same as alcohol if it is regulated at all! It cures cancer for god sake!

  4. The D.O.P.E House on

    We need more diversity in this billion dollar industry. If minority communities are targeted the numbers will grow. The majority of the qualifying conditions are most prevalent in these communities.

    The D.O.P.E (Delivering Opportunities for People Everywhere) House Inc is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide equal medical marijuana access, resources, education, and employment primarily in low-imcome/minority communities.

  5. It’s all a bunch of bullshit, it’s just bud I been smoking since I was 10.no big deal ,and for us Who have felony convictions why can we not get it, we did our time we paid our does. .why are we being discriminated against and judged.i will sue !!!!

  6. Whyiowa4medical on

    For the sake of curiosity I began an application!! I qualify, but for two areas, 1) I am not spending the $$$ to send in a fingerprint card, as was stated earlier, is a direct violation of my civil rights under HIPPA. 2) I have had all rights of citizenship returned from any and all felonies and/or misdemeanors as what I spent a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence for was changed to a misdemeanor “simple possession” charge even though I gave my address as Iowa. Felonies I was charged with prior to this was due to my business choices as I felt a private Methadone Maintenance Clinic best served my performers that I would often catch shooting heroin during recording sessions. When Broadlawns County Hospital wanted to get it’s grubby little hands on the program (sending the directors of the former program to federal prison for charges ranging from manslaughter to diversion of a C-II controlled substance) and they cared not even one whit who they hurt!!! I was thrown on the hood of police cruisers and injured on four separate occasions and was charged “out of the blue” with 10 counts of attempt to obtain a prescription substance – all charges appear, but were dismissed. I forgot to remove a Narcan syringe from my pocket that all professionals were required to carry when the police found this was when these charges fell out of the sky!!! I forgot it in my pocket!!! Ever forget something, yeah, so did I!!!
    I have made several discoveries, Johnny!!! Having all rights of citizenship returned counts as clearing ones felonies!!! I am accepted in the operation of a canna-business in Oregon, as over 14 years have passed since my last felony that my girlfriend admitted to the police that she performed ALONE as I was recovering from a severe concussion and for over a week I believed I was living in Des Moines (I had a gin bottle broken against my temple and still have the scar from broken glass) after telling this to the police, I was the only one carted away in absolutely no shape to defend myself. So, the person you had on the blog a couple weeks ago was wrong (she emailed me with a refusal) to be employed in Oregon only five years must have passed. To be an owner one needs the forgiveness of the state in which any felony occurred. If you incorporate, this is once again overlooked to 5 years!!!

  7. I just wanted to pass this along. Now, admittedly, I may be the final person on planet Earth to learn this, but I think it is important. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my shoulders, and I am able to keep the RA pain under control by smoking pot. But I have always wondered why pot was so efficacious, now I know. If you already know, good for you, if you don’t, keep reading, it gets interesting.

    First, read this article: http://www.realfarmacy.com/arthritis-cure-nature/

    Next read this one: https://www.theweedblog.com/how-does-boron-affect-marijuana-plants/

    The AMA and the Pharmacology Trust has dealt with RA and it’s attendant pain by attempting to mask it. The masking agent is usually some sort of opiate based analgesic, plus the pain med usually comes prescribed with a “muscle relaxant” and and “anti-inflammatory”, drugs that usually leave the patient more zombiefied than a quarter-pounder joint of Bruce Banner. But best of all, for the medical industry: it’s expensive as hell! (Expensive, as in costly of-> money, time, pain, wear and tear on your psyche. wear and tear on your relationships, etc…) If you can’t smoke pot, you can get Boron supplements (Amazon sells them in 3mg doses), or eat fresh fruit and nuts. Apples are high on the list of Boron suppliers, although the recommended amount of daily intake of Boron from apples would require eating 1.75 Kg of apples (4.5 pounds) and/or apple products (juice, apple sauce,…).

    The best part for me is that now I know WHY Marijuana works on my RA.

  8. Sucks to see some of the stories in the comments, but I am so glad to see laws like this getting passes monthly now. Hope someday medical 420 tours are all over America. Here is a company staring them for people who want to try cannabis as a cure.


  9. I went to the secretary of state’s office the other day and dropped my cdl so I could start the application process on the hope that the mmj will help. I think it’s dumb that for me to even find out if it will work I have to give up my cdl. The guy tried to talk me out of dropping it, telling me I’ll have to start all over if I ever want it back, a license I’ve used for 23 years.

  10. Kirsten Velasco on

    Yes, I’m also trying to make people aware of these exclusions because they are a violation of civil rights and privacy (HIPPA). All people with a commercial drivers license, in any type of law enforcement (police, probation officers, etc.) and felons are all excluded. Fingerprinting patients is unconstitutional. — Thanks to Johnny Green for keeping us informed. I hope to meet you in Chicago 5/19-21.

  11. Yea,will try what you said,im defenitly not giving up on recieving treatment,jus trying to bring this too peoples attention,that the state can deny a person because of past conviction,

  12. Kirsten Velasco on

    Dear M.M, you should send in an application anyway. I heard through the grape vine that other people w/ OLD felonies applied and received approval. You have to submit a $40-70 fingerprint scan–that’s a background check. Good Luck. Also, you can write a letter, call or email your state representatives and ask them to vote yes/ support SB 753. That bill allows home cultivation, then you won’t need to get your med from a dispensary. Best wishes.

  13. Yep,I am a Illinois resident with a debilitating condition that qualifies me for the program,but I have a felony conviction from 20 years ago,an due to that im unable to qualify under the state program,time to roll out this program for the people who need it,an not jus who the state wants to have,not a fair program,

  14. Really?! Who will sign up for a program when there is no product to buy? In fact, how can you even call that a MMJ Program?

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