Illinois’ medical marijuana endeavor, which is designed as a pilot program with a sunset provision, is proving to be a slow grow. As of this writing, the Illinois Department of Public Health has approved 5,600 qualified patients, including 38 patients under 18 years of age, since the Medical Cannabis Registry Program’s inception on Sept. 2, 2014.
The IDPH website indicates that approximately 7,400 individuals have submitted applications. Industry watchers say that the Illinois program will need to have more than 100,000 qualified patients in order to be successful.
The state’s monthly medical marijuana retail sales increased significantly in March, with sales approximately 30 percent higher than February, according to an Associated Press story. Joseph Wright, the program’s director, told AP that the state’s registered dispensaries sold $1.9 million of marijuana to more than 4,700 patients, which was a record month for the program. To date, sales total $6.3 million and there are 32 registered dispensaries, with three new ones registering in March.
Illinois’ medical marijuana program recognizes 39 medical conditions, including cancer and glaucoma.