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Medical Marijuana Goes On Sale Tomorrow In Illinois


Illinois medical marijuana hb 1Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Patients have had to endure a lot of waiting as the state set up rules for the medical marijuana, licensed medical marijuana growers and distributors, and after that, had to wait for the medical marijuana to be actual grown and sent to licensed dispensaries to be distributed. The road has been long, and full of bumps, but tomorrow is the day that patients are allowed to legally make their first purchases of medical marijuana in Illinois. Per ABC Chicago:

More than 3,000 patients with Illinois-issued ID cards will be able to buy medical marijuana legally for the first time Monday, according to the state official overseeing the pilot program.

Eight licensed dispensaries are authorized to start selling cannabis on that day, program director Joseph Wright told The Associated Press. The number will grow to a dozen dispensaries by the end of the month and up to 25 by the end of the year, Wright said.

More than two years after Illinois enacted its medical cannabis law, growers on Friday began shipping their products to dispensaries around the state, following instructions sent to them by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. A statewide digital tracking system has been launched to prevent any diversion of marijuana to the black market.

The obvious questions that I have, and I’m sure many others are wondering the same thing, is how much will the medicine cost, and of what quality will it be? I’m also curious if there will be supply shortages, which often is the case when sales first begin via a very restricted program. But, with not that many patients signed up to the program, that could prove to not be an issue. Illinois’ medical marijuana program is in need of a lot of improvement, but tomorrow should still be celebrated because for the first time in Illinois’ medical marijuana program’s troubled history, patients will finally have safe, legal access to medical marijuana.


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Johnny Green


  1. The Addison, IL dispensary was selling grams today for $20/gram, $500 for an ounce.

    The Mundelein, IL dispensary was selling 1.75 grams for $35, or 7 grams for $110. $450 for an ounce.

  2. The first price report I saw was from a dispensary in Canton, IL. They were selling ounces for $385. Quarter ounces were $100. 2.5 ounces would be $962.50.

    I’ll post more pricing if I find it.

  3. I can’t imagine there will be any supply shortages at all. Maybe the first week there might be, as I’m not sure how many growers have supply ready, but after that it shouldn’t be a problem. Their aren’t enough patients, 3,300 at last count, and the limits on how much a patient can purchase, 2.5 ounces every 14 days, should be easy enough for the growers to handle.

    As for the prices, it will be interesting to see what they are. Each grower had to pay a $25,000 application fee non-refundable, another $200,000 for the growing license, and have $2 million in an escrow account. Dispensaries had to pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee, another $30,000 for the dispensary license, have $400,000 in liquid assets, and $50,000 in an escrow account.

    So if there are ten growers operating, and each needed $2.25 million just for government regulations, not including costs to grow cannabis, that is $22.5 million spent to get the business of 3,300 patients,

    On the dispensary side, if there are 25 dispensaries by the end of the year, and each needed $485,000 just for government regulations, that is $12.125 million spent to get the business of 3,300 patients.

    So $34.6 million divided by 3,300 patients would mean the growers/dispensaries need to make $10,484 per patient just to recoup their financial investments to meet the government start-up regulations.

    All growers and dispensaries also have to have video cameras covering every square inch of their property with a live feed piped into the state police headquarters. That has to be a few thousand dollars also, if not 5 figures. Growers needed to buy growing equipment, hire employees, and pay utility bills in addition to the cost of the growing facility. Dispensaries would have the facility and employee costs as well.

    The maximum one patient can buy in a year is 65 ounces (2.5 ounces every 2 weeks) or 4 pounds 1 ounce per year. The number of patients is very unlikely to increase fast enough to support all the current licensed growers and dispensaries, so a year from now I’d expect those number to shrink.

    It is still way too hard to become a registered patient in Illinois. Most Doctors don’t want to even deal with it. Patients have to have a year long history with a Doctor before that Doctor can recommend cannabis, so if a patient’s Doctor won’t give a recommendation, if that patient can find a Doctor who will recommend they will still have to wait a year before the gov’t will register them in the program. This is why the vast majority of patients are being turned down by the government right now, because their current Doctor won’t go out on a limb for them, and they have to wait a year if they do find a Doctor who will.

    It’s not like California where you can go to a Doctor for the first time and walk out with a recommendation. In Illinois that Doctor has to treat your condition for a year before you can get a recommendation from them.

    Also of note, this entire program automatically expires January 1, 2018. There are no guarantees after that. For the 3,300 Illinois patients out there, enjoy tomorrow you’ve waited way too long for this day and count yourselves lucky. Hopefully you inspire the much needed improvements to this medical cannabis program before it expires at the end of 2017.

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