Some Patients Can Already Apply
In order to keep down the number of applications, Illinois is allowing patients to apply for medicinal marijuana by last name. Currently, your last name has to begin with the letter A-L in order to apply. There is a list of health conditions that qualify a person for medicinal marijuana listed on page 5 of the frequently asked questions pdf. While other conditions may be added at a later time, right now a person must be diagnosed with one of the listed conditions. Click here to see the official application.
Please note that those with a last name beginning with A-L must have apply by the end of October 2014. November 2014 and December 2014 have been set aside for applications from patients with last names that begin with M-Z. The applications are also approved on a first-come first-serve basis, so the sooner you apply, the sooner your application will be reviewed. Applications need to be accompanied by an annual fee of $100 (some may qualify for a reduced fee of $50).
Be sure to fill out the complete application. Incomplete applications will be denied. There are some companies out there charging exorbitant fees to fill out the application for you. The process is simple and there is no need to pay an outside party for help. If you need assistance, a friend or family member should be able to help you.
Information for Cultivators and Distributors
If you want to grow medicinal marijuana, you will need to follow the guidelines of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The application period for those who wish to grow cannabis legally is over, so you will have to wait until the department begins accepting applications again. Presently the state is only allowing 21 cultivators.
Dispensing medical marijuana is also state regulated. Only 60 licenses are currently available, so be sure to apply right away. Don’t forget when planning, the importance of insuring your business. Any company has liability risks, but one that dispenses marijuana can be particularly culpable if the medication falls into the wrong hands or if someone injures themselves or others while under the influence. Make sure to align yourself with an agent knowledgeable of coverage in this industry.
Medicinal marijuana is a big step forward for the many Illinois patients who suffer from diseases that qualify them for treatment. There is also a lot of money to be earned by those who are fortunate enough to become cultivators or distributors. Good luck Illinois!