medical marijuana

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs wants the Trump administration to help protect the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Federal law currently forbids banks from processing money used for cannabis transactions.  This makes it difficult for these businesses to get loans and pushes customers to pay only with cash. 

The Obama administration said prosecuting banks for these violations wasn't a priority, and Frerichs wants the same assurances from Trump.  

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are circulating a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

The proposal by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Chris Taylor comes after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he would be open to the idea.

Republicans have typically been against any attempts to legalize marijuana.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is against medical marijuana. And Gov. Scott Walker also says he opposes it.

Illinois is one year into its four-year medical marijuana pilot project, and doctors' opinions are divided.  

Doctors' trade group, the Illinois State Medical Society, has no official stance on pot's medical benefits, or lack thereof. However, the Society's current president, Dr. Thomas Anderson, says the membership is split. 

"Because we have doctors within the organization who feel like it is a value drug in certain settings, we have doctors in the organization who feel like it's a useless substance that doesn't even belong on the shelf with other medications."

Next week brings the anniversary of legal medical marijuana sales in Illinois and the program is growing steadily. Patients with state approval to buy marijuana now number about 12,000.

The state released new monthly figures Wednesday. Retailers sold $4.1 million in marijuana products during October, marking another month of increasing sales.

Last month's figures bring the total retail sales in Illinois to $28 million since purchasing began Nov. 9, 2015.

The number of dispensaries continues to grow, too, with 46 now licensed to sell medical marijuana.

WNIJ

A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program.

The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

HCI Alternatives CEO Chris Stone says it's not just about promoting the product he sells. He says it's about moving away from pain killers with adverse side effects.

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