Medical marijuana will soon be growing in Illinois and patients will likely be able to purchase medical marijuana by late summer or early fall because Governor Bruce Rauner has awarded permits for medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries to begin operations.
Last week, the Governor’s office said no licenses would be issued until a legal review of the process that began under former Gov. Pat Quinn was completed.
18 licences to cultivate medical marijuana were issued and 52 dispensary licences to sell medical marijuana were issued. Three additional cultivation centers and five additional dispensaries may be approved in the future, as the Rauner administration continues reviewing the selection process set in place by the Quinn administration.
A spokesman for former Governor Pat Quinn stated that licenses were not approved before he left office because he “felt the process was incomplete” and he “refused to rush the licenses out the door.”
The state will be sending formal letters of approval to those awarded licenses. Owners of those medical marijuana industry businesses will have 48 hours to accept the provisional licences. Final approval requires the businesses to pay all related fees, register their employees with the state’s medical marijuana program, and prove operators have enough money to build and run their facilities.
Once final approval has been issued, cultivation centers can begin growing medical marijuana in Illinois. Patients will likely have access to medical marijuana in late summer or early fall. Patients will need to qualify and be approved by a medical marijuana doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card.