State: Slow roll of medical marijuana program threatens dispensaries

A research firm says Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program has been plagued with setbacks, a lack of licensed growers and slow patient registration.

Arcview Market Research’s report this week says Illinois’ slow rollout jeopardizes dispensary businesses. Just last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health denied adding eight additional conditions to the program. Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state is assessing performance so far before deciding whether to expand the program further in the future.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state is assessing performance so far before deciding whether to expand the program further in the future.

“We’re accessing the performance of it so far and then we will make that judgment in the future. I don’t want to rush this. We’re making a lot of changes. We’ve got to walk before we run.”

Chris Stone, CEO of medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternatives in Springfield and Collinsville, says the state could help the program be a success by educating people, especially doctors.

“Listen, doctors go through many years of education and it is not in any textbook, it doesn’t tell you anything about marijuana or cannabis or any of the various strains and how they affect pain management. I think getting the education out and having the state help us with the education is instrumental in making this program a success.”

Meanwhile, Arcview Market Research says Illinois’ denial of additional conditions will keep patient levels low for the foreseeable future.

Despite the denial of additional conditions, IDPH announced this week the number of approved patients for the program now is approximately 4,400.


Illinois News Network

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