Illinois Pilot Program
Medical Cannabis Use on the Rise
After a long period of prohibition, by 2009 more than a dozen U.S. states had legalized the medical use of Cannabis. In the same year, the Department of Justice stated it would not pursue Cannabis users and distributors, so long as they remained in compliance with state law. Today medical Cannabis has been legalized by nearly half of all American states.
The Illinois “Incubator” for Medical Cannabis
In 2014, Illinois introduced a four-year pilot program (“The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”) designed to make medical Cannabis available to qualified patients. It is slated to expire in 2018, though legislators may decide to extend the program or make it permanent*. The program represents the culmination of efforts by law enforcement, executive branch departments, and medical cannabis advocates and opponents, as well as sponsors from both political parties. The people involved created a highly regulated plan that enables Illinois patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions to safely and legally access medical Cannabis – a product known by millions of patients worldwide for its therapeutic effects.
The program permits the operation of 21 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries, which are geographically dispersed throughout the state. The program also enumerates 44 specific debilitating medical conditions, any one of which (together with written certification from a physician) could qualify a person for participation in the Illinois medical Cannabis program.
How Does the State Run the Program?
Unlike some states that require vertical integration between cultivators and retail facilities, Illinois does not. Illinois cultivators are regulated by the Department of Agriculture and are separate from dispensaries, which are regulated by the Department of Professional and Financial Responsibility. Separately, the Department of Public Health is responsible for issuing registration cards to patients and caregivers.
Purchasing Medical Cannabis
As a patient, you can buy up to 2.5 ounces of Cannabis in a 14-day period or, more with a physician’s waiver, after you have registered with one of the 60 dispensaries located throughout Illinois. You’re free to change your dispensary, but you’ll need to first notify the state online before you can make any new purchases at your new dispensary.
A caregiver – someone to assist you with the purchase and transportation of your medical Cannabis – can also register. A caregiver must be at least 21 years old, identify the patient for whom he/she is caring for at the time of registration, and can work with/be assigned to only one registered medical Cannabis patient.
For more information on if you or your caregiver have any changes to your application, please click here. For the application form click here.
Bedford Grow provides this content as a public service only.
The information contained herein has not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Any products manufactured by and dispensed from Bedford Grow are done pursuant to the State of Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
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