Illinois approved 50 new patient applications for medical marijuana during December, bringing the total to 650 patients with complete paperwork.
Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Wednesday almost 13,000 have registered online and started an application. She says about 1,800 people have submitted at least part of the application.
She gave no explanation for the apparent slow pace of submissions and approvals.
Qualifying patients pay an annual fee of $100 for a marijuana card. Patients aren't allowed to grow their own cannabis, and, for now, are waiting for the legal industry to start up.
Gov. Pat Quinn's administration hasn't yet revealed which businesses will be authorized to grow and sell medical marijuana, but that announcement could come soon.