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Medical Marijuana Program For Illinois Patients Begins

LIFE MATTERS MEDIA STAFF

Courtesy WikiMedia Commons
Courtesy WikiMedia Commons

Nearly 3,300 Illinois patients and caregivers with state-issued ID cards will be able to legally purchase medical marijuana on Monday for the first time.

Eight dispensaries are authorized to start selling cannabis, program director Joseph Wright told The Associated Press. The number is expected to grow to a dozen dispensaries by the end of the month and up to 25 by the end of the year.

More than two years after Illinois enacted its medical cannabis pilot program, growers finally began shipping their products to dispensaries last week, following instructions sent to them by the Department of Agriculture.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program has been called one of the strictest medical marijuana laws in the nation. Only people diagnosed with chronic pain due to trauma and serious disease, osteoarthritis and post-traumatic stress syndrome are eligible.

Qualifying patients must pay $100 for their card.

Marijuana grown by Illinois farmers will be available raw, as well as in topical, edible and infused forms, Life Matters Media founder Randi Belisomo reports for WGN-TV. Illinois is among 23 states with medical marijuana programs.

A list of the dispensaries that will be able to begin selling product is available here