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Low Patient Numbers Could Doom Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Industry


Illinois medical marijuana hb 1Once upon a time I talked with a person who was looking at investing in Illinois’ medical marijuana industry. At the time of our discussion, Illinois was still in the process of reviewing applications for the limited number of licenses for dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The numbers he said people were putting up were astronomical, but seemed confident that it would all be worth it to the people that won licenses. He kept pointing to Illinois’ large population as the reason why it would be such a big score for the people that won licenses.

I was very quick to point out that Illinois’ medical marijuana program was too restrictive, and that until more conditions were added to the program, there wouldn’t be that many patients. I urged him to push for expanding the program in his state, not only to increase the patient base for industry purposes, but also because it’s the right thing to do. No one should be denied an effective medicine for political reasons. I could tell at the time the person I was talking to didn’t quite grasp what I was saying, which made me sad.

I just read an article on The Daily Herald which talked about how dispensaries are struggling in Illinois, and the reason why sounded familiar. Per The Daily Herald:

Illinois regulators touted almost $1.7 million in sales since medical marijuana became legal in November, and about 400 new certified customers were added last month to the roughly 4,000 already approved to buy the drug. But the business owners say they need to see 20,000 to 30,000 customers in the next six months to a year to stabilize the industry.

The reason for the disappointing numbers stems from what the operators call unnecessarily tight restrictions on who can buy marijuana.

For example, chronic pain and sleep disorders are not considered valid reasons in Illinois to buy medical pot, but they are elsewhere.

In September of last year there was a push to add 11 more conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for the Illinois medical marijuana program, including PTSD. However, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure. There is currently a petition on Change.Org calling for adding conditions to Illinois’ medical marijuana program. It’s currently at 16,938 signatures and climbing. Let’s see if we can get it to the current 25,000 goal! You can sign it at this link here. Please share it with everyone you know. Below are statements that were provided to the blog from suffering Illinois patients that aren’t able to enroll in the program because their condition doesn’t qualify:

“I have osteoarthritis and suffer from the pain daily. I find it hard to even walk through a grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner and have to have help putting things away. Please approve the condition as I am only 55 and would like to have some pain free life of what I have left.” — Debra R., Round Lake

“I have PTSD and am breaking the law to control my anxiety.” — Robert T., Monmouth

“My son suffers from autism and seizures. Medical cannabis has helped in the past and I don’t want to move, but I will to help my son. That means everything to me.” — Ron T., Chicago

“I am Veteran with PTSD and arthritis and chronic pain from injuries from my service.
I don’t want to be a criminal to have relief. ” — Richard B., Rock Island

“I’m signing because I’m a 30+ year military veteran with severe osteoarthritis, IBS, and several other of the illnesses listed here. My doctors recommended and I have tried and found relief in medical marijuana. I proudly served my country and the communities I’ve lived in my entire adult life. I’m simply looking for a better quality of life.” — Ron L., Dahinda

I suffer from PTSD and have suffered ever since my deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006. I’ve been put on so many different anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications I can’t even count or remember them all. None of them have helped and many have made things worse. I know it is highly unlikely that I will ever fully recover, but having a medicine that could ease the constant pain and suffering associated with PTSD and its many symptoms will add a huge amount to my quality of life.” — James D., Schaumburg

“I am a veteran with PTSD and medical marijuana helps me with the triggers and memories. Also anger, stress and sleeping. I couldn’t be the father/husband I am today without it.” — Dustin C., Rockford

“I am a patient with osteoarthritis in my lower back. I have spoken in front of the Advisory Board in both May and October 2015. Medical cannabis will not cure my osteoarthritis, but it will help to manage the chronic pain that I face on a daily basis. Director Shah and Governor Rauner: approve these 8 recommended conditions so that patients like myself can have access to medicine.” — Jared T., Romeoville

“My uncle, a Vietnam War veteran with PTSD, is a changed man since beginning to use cannabis about two years ago. By reducing counseling costs, completely eliminating his dependence on pharmaceuticals for anxiety and insomnia, and enabling him to work full-time without absenteeism, medical cannabis is benefiting not only him but the community and society as a whole. This use of cannabis should be enshrined in law as soon as possible.” — Christopher S., Charleston

“I don’t want to rely on liver eroding medication for my chronic pain condition. I want a safe, natural alternative.” — Karen F., Chicago

“I don’t want to be on prescription meds like OxyContin for my Osteoarthritis and chronic knee and back pain.” — Steve S., Zion

“I have chronic pain and my insurance will no longer cover the med I have been taking.” — Judith B., Bloomingdale

“My daughter has PTSD and has been waiting patiently for relief of her painful symptoms.” — Michele H., Oak Park

“I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and marijuana has been helping my condition for years.” — Anna H., Chicago

“I’ve had chronic pain for 15 years. Time for a break.” — Robert M., Saint Anne

“I’m signing because I’m a chronic pain sufferer who also happens to have PTSD. I’ve found that medical cannabis helps me more than any of the pharmaceuticals I have been on over the year! I also have a son with Autism. I would love to see if medical cannabis would help him more so he could stop taking some of the poison the pharmaceutical industry alongside the doctors shove down our throats!” — Kandy T., Macomb

“I suffer from PTSD and know that marijuana can help with my disorder symptoms.” — Becky C., Rushville

“Osteoarthritis is destroying my quality of life and I am unable to take any of the commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for the pain. In addition a number of them were taken off the market due to dangerous side effects.” — Green C., Glenview

I have Osteoarthritis & have dealt with the pain by using RX medication, otc meds, etc for over 11 years. I have limitations that make just the day-to-day things uncomfortable to impossible everyday. I’m only 57 & my quality time with my family has declined over the years. I would like real pain relief & to be able to cut back on meds that I know aren’t good for me!” — Lela W., Mount Morris

“I have chronic pain, and feel this would help since eating hydrocodone is killing me.” — Jennifer M., Peoria


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Johnny Green


  1. I’ve been using and benefiting from this miracle plant for almost 50 years, mostly joints and dry pipes. I just had a series of chest x-rays ran and get this, they were ALL CLEAR!!! This plant is a life giver, a healing plant for the masses. The fact that we all have a system within us that reacts positively to THC should be enough evidence for any one to the benefits of cannabis. Being a Viet Nam vet, there is no way I could manage my life without marijuana. I consider myself very lucky to be in a state (Oregon) that has such a liberal medical marijuana program. I’ve been an activist since the 70’s and it’s so nice to watch the black veil of prohibition begin to lift.

  2. The march will take place tomorrow, everyone should assemble at the Washington Monument at 8:00 am.

  3. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Therapeutic Index for cannabis:

    If I understand this correctly,
    one would have to consume between 87 to 100 grams of PURE THC
    all-at-once to even have a 50% chance of dying, (LD50).

    Two calculations I used to arrive at the LD50 amounts:

    LD50 amount for a 150 lb, (68.18 kg), individual, based upon 1270mg / kg LD50
    68.18 * 1270mg = 86,589mg or 87g LD50

    LD50 amount based on 1:20,000 ratio, or 20,000 times an “effective dose” of 5 mg
    5mg * 20,000 = 100,000mg or 100g LD50

    Actual LD50 amounts may be even higher than above calculated,
    since the estimated mg / kg is between 1270 to 3000 mg and
    the estimated LD50 ratio is between 1:20,000 to 1:40,000,
    and I used the lower-end numbers

  4. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Early voting for the Presidential Primary is only three weeks away
    for the Super Tuesday states…

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
    vows to DE-schedule cannabis if when elected,
    presently, as a Senator, introduced a bill in November 2015
    to REMOVE cannabis from the CSA!

    ~ ~ ~ Vote EARLY! ~ Vote BERNIE! ~ ~ ~

  5. Approximately 16,500 people DIE every year due to NSAIDS that are sold over the counter in HUGE bottles.

    Yeah, let’s keep the ONLY substance in the world that has NEVER hurt anyone the MOST illegal substance on the planet.

    STOP the madness.

    END prohibition now.

  6. Someone needs to organize a large-scale non-violent march on Washington. Its wrong to discriminate against Americans who are suffering and/or dying and need Medical Marijuana. Dr. Sanjay Gupta said it best — “Medical Marijuana isn’t just good medicine — in many cases its the only medicine that works.”

  7. No other medication is micro-managed by the government the way Medical Marijuana is. Its critical that Marijuana be de-scheduled or reduced to schedule 3, 4, or 5, so physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it to their patients on the same basis as every other medication.
    Google Marijuana Therapeutic Index.
    Based on its safety profile, it shouldn’t be on any Schedule at all — it should be over the counter. It has a far safer therapeutic index than NSAIDS or Tylenol.

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