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How Does The Illinois Medical Marijuana Program Compare To Other States

Robert Celt

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Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors for the first time in November last year. Since then, they're raked in more $4.4 million in sales to nearly 5,000 medical marijuana users across the state.

The pilot program is about halfway done, but some medical marijuana patients and advocates say it has serious problems. The Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act allows people to use medical marijuana for 39 conditions, but some argue it's missing some key illnesses, like post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. The Illinois Department of Public Health allows people to petition for new conditions, but Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn't approved any.

And though new patients have been added every month, business owners say dispensaries will need 20,000 to 30,000 by the middle to the end of the year to stay afloat.

So, how is the Illinois medical marijuana program holding up compared to other states in the U.S.? There are 23 states plus Washington D.C. with medical marijuana laws on the books, but the programs vary widely. Below we'll compare Illinois with four other states that have legalized medical marijuana, looking at some basic facts about their programs.

Illinois: Home sweet home

  • Legalized in 2013
  • Dispensaries opened in November 2015
  • 39 approved conditions
  • 21 dispensaries - As of 2016
  • Nearly 5,000 patients - As of March 2, 2016
  • Nearly 31% are between 51 and 60 years old - As of January 2016
  • Top 3 most common conditions for patients - As of January 2016
    • Cancer
    • severe fibromyalgia
    • multiple sclerosis

Colorado: A state with both medical and recreational marijuana

  • Legalized in 2000
  • 8 approved conditions
  • 517 dispensaries - As of Feb. 1, 2016
  • 107,798 patients - As of January 2016
  • 42.5 years old - Average age of medical marijuana user
  • 93% use it for severe pain

Michigan: The only other Midwest state with a medical marijuana program

  • Legalized in 2008
  • 14 approved conditions
  • No licensed dispensaries - Caregivers and patients can grow their own plants
  • 184,245 patients - As of Jan. 14, 2016
  • 93% use it for severe and chronic pain

New York: A bigger state, like Illinois, and has a brand new medical marijuana program

  • Legalized in 2014 - Program launched in January 2016
  • 16 approved conditions
  • 8 licensed dispensaries to start
  • 20 will be open eventually
  • 1,565 patients - As of March 8, 2016

California: The first state in the country to legalize medical marijuana

  • Legalized in 1996
  • "A serious medical condition" - Physician needs to diagnose for voluntary Medical Marijuana ID Card
  • 1.4 million Californians have used medical marijuana at some time - As of 2012
  • No government record on number of patients or dispansaries


News Moderator: Robert Celt 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: How Does The Illinois Medical Marijuana Program Compare To Other States
Author: Emily Olsen
Contact: Reboot Illinois
Photo Credit: None found
Website: Reboot Illinois
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