It’s been reported patients registered under Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Pilot Program will be able to start purchasing supplies next week.
According to FOX 32, Illinois’ first legal shipments of medicinal cannabis could depart from cultivator operations as soon as today.
So far, approximately 3,300 patients have registered under the state’s medical marijuana program, including 20 children. 8 dispensaries have been licensed to provide products.
The Illinois program is one of the most wide-reaching in terms of who it is a available to.
So far, 37 debilitating medical conditions make a patient eligible for the program and a further 8 have been approved, but not yet listed; being : Chronic pain due to trauma, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Chronic Post-Operative Pain, Intractable Pain, Osteoarthritis, Autism, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
With such broad coverage, the relatively low number of registered patients is somewhat surprising, but it seems there are quite a few hurdles patients must jump through.
First, the patient must have a qualifying condition. Then a physician-written certification must be supplied. The patient must also submit a lengthy application to the Illinois Department of Health.
However, probably one of the most controversial aspects is that each patient must also be fingerprinted; a process that some associate with criminality.
Additionally, each year the patient must run through the same process again; plus pay an annual fee of USD $100 for the registration.
An estimated 26,300 have commenced the patient registry application process since the Illinois Department of Public Health began accepting applications in September last year. Of those, almost 4,300 have submitted a complete application.
Most patients registered under the program, or their registered caregivers, may possess up to 2.5 ounces of eligible medical-cannabis from their specified dispensary in a 14 day period. Patients will not be able to grow their own medicinal cannabis.
The Department began sending out medical cannabis registry identification cards to registered qualifying patients and caregivers late last month.
Further information on the Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, which runs until December 31, 2017, can be viewed here.