Medical Marijuana

When Can Illinois Residents Buy Medical Marijuana?

If there are no more legal bumps in the road, residents with licenses to buy medical marijuana may be able to do so by September

Medical marijuana has been just out of reach for Illinois residents for months, despite the fact that lawmakers made it legal more than a year ago.

So how soon will residents be able to actually buy the stuff?

The short answer is some time this fall, if all goes according to plan. The long answer takes into account what happens when things don't go according to plan, which has characterized the entire legal process from the beginning.

Medical marijuana became legal in Illinois more than a year ago, but there are several more steps that had to happen before residents could take part in the pilot program and start purchasing. 

By April 1, about 2,000 people had received approval letters in response to applications to buy medical marijuana. Additionally, the growing permits that were approved earlier this year have already been printed and were ready to be picked up in March.

On Monday, an advisory board approved the use of medical marijuana in treating 11 health conditions, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Anorexia Nervosa and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Even the matter of finding seeds has been resolved, if on shaky grounds. 

By law, approved cultivation centers must begin production within six months after their permits were issued, according to Kristi Jones, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The first permits were issued in March.

If there are no more bumps in the road for the approved centers, then licensed buyers could be making their first purchases of medical marijuana by September.

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