medical marijuana

WUIS

  Republican Representative Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon told a House committee Monday that he wants to warn users of serious potential side effect such as hallucinations, delusions and impaired thinking.

Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program was sponsored by Democrat Representative Lou Lang of Skokie. Lang says he'd rather wait until the pilot program ends in 20-17 rather than pass piecemeal legislation.

"There may be an opportunity in the future to work on something like this. I just think it's ill-timed," he says.

Retail sales of medical marijuana in Illinois increased by roughly 30 percent in March compared to the previous month.

Program director Joseph Wright says the state's registered dispensaries sold $1.9 million worth of marijuana in March to more than 4,700 patients. It was the best month yet in sales for the program.

Illinois now has 32 registered dispensaries where qualified patients can buy the drug. Three new dispensaries registered in March.

Wright says approximately 5,500 patients now qualify for the program.

Illinois medical marijuana shops had their best month yet in February with nearly $1.5 million in sales, bringing total retail sales to more than $4.4 million since the program began Nov. 9.

Program director Joseph Wright announced Tuesday that registered dispensaries served 3,042 unique patients during February. Two new dispensaries joined the program last month, raising the total to 29 shops as of Monday.

Wright says approximately 4,800 Illinois patients now qualify for the program.

Illinois advocates are pushing to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the conditions eligible for medical marijuana.

Lon Hodge is a Vietnam veteran. He suffers from PTSD and experiences panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. He says marijuana helps him cope with those symptoms.

Illinois currently has a pilot medical marijuana program.

But Hodge can't use pot legally in the state because PTSD is not on the list of illnesses covered under the program.

flickr/dankdepot

The nascent medical marijuana business in Illinois is off to a slow start, with fewer than 4,000 approved patients.That hasn't kept away a cadre of cannabis entrepreneurs who once relied on guns, badges, tough drug laws and lengthy prison sentences to fight the drug. The Associated Press has identified no fewer than 17 former law-enforcement or legal officials involved in the business, from one-time undercover narcotics officers to an ex-Secret Service senior executive. Industry officials in Illinois and beyond say the state is unusual in the degree to which former law enforcement officers

JENNIFER BRDLIK / ELEVATED CARE

Illinois residents who want to add specific diseases to the state's medical marijuana pilot program have another chance to submit suggestions next month.

The state public health department will accept petitions starting Jan. 1. The program allows people to suggest additional diseases for the program twice annually.

An advisory board reviews suggestions and makes recommendations. So far, no new conditions were added to the 39 listed in the original law.

JENNIFER BRDLIK / ELEVATED CARE

Illinois officials say the state's first medical marijuana patients have purchased nearly $801,000 worth of cannabis during the program's first month.

Program director Joseph Wright announced the figures Wednesday. The numbers indicate Illinois has collected roughly $56,550 in taxes from wholesale sales of medical marijuana during the month. Marijuana wholesalers pay a 7 percent tax to the state.
 
Wright says licensed dispensaries have served 1,713 unique patients. That's nearly half the 3,600 patients who have been approved for the program.

flickr/dankdepot

A pair of Libertarian political candidates are suing the state of Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law prohibits campaign donations from companies that grow or dispense cannabis.

Benjamin Barr is a lawyer with the Pillar of Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He says he filed the lawsuit because his clients favor legalization of drugs and should be able to seek support from like-minded businesses.

Today’s the day for many medical marijuana patients in Illinois. As many as eight dispensaries around the state are scheduled to open as the next chapter of legalizing medical marijuana begins.

Only around 33-hundred people have been granted medical cannabis licenses by state regulators. That’s one reason people in the industry have been coordinating informational meetings about how to apply. Last Wednesday, one such forum was held in Rockford.

No pictures, please.

WUIS

An Illinois veteran is asking a judge to reverse a state decision against adding post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

Daniel Paul Jabs filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. He has been diagnosed with PTSD, according to the court filing.

Attorney Michael K. Goldberg represents Jabs. He says four other patients plan to file similar complaints.

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