medical marijuana


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

The Illinois Department of Public Health will accept petitions through July. Instructions will be posted on the program's website. An advisory board will review the petitions and hold a public hearing.

Jennifer Brdlik / Elevated Care

Patients, growers, and business owners are waiting while Illinois continues the process of setting up its medical cannabis program. One northern Illinois native is in all three of those roles in Arizona, where medical marijuana has been legal for five years. 

Jennifer Brdlik is operations director for “Elevated Care” and “Aromatic Kitchens,” companies that produce cannabis-based foods and tinctures. She spoke with WNIJ’s Susan Stephens about why she got into the business and where she thinks it’s headed in Illinois.

Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 7 p.m.

This "Context" public affairs event takes a closer look at Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program approved by state lawmakers.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Supporters of medical marijuana are holding a day-long event this Saturday in Chicago.  The Illinois Medical Cannabis Patients Summit is a workshop for people who want to become a registered medical marijuana patient or a caregiver. There’s a special evening workshop for veterans on how to navigate their health system if they feel they qualify for medical marijuana.

The event is co-sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago and Americans for Safe Access-Illinois. It’s being held at the University Center in Chicago.


Illinois marijuana patients may be jumping the gun by submitting applications for diseases that aren’t approved yet. 

The state Public Health department says such applications will be rejected and fees will be refunded.

Health officials say a handful of applications came in from patients with health conditions recommended by an advisory board last week, including migraines, osteoarthritis and PTSD.

Caveman 92223 / Flickr

Illinois forfeited 13,000 pages of documents to attorneys who are challenging how the state awarded one medical marijuana business license.

This is the first release of this kind of material, but the records remain closed to journalists and the general public. The disclosure could soon shed light on the secretive process.

The records include applications from five companies that competed for a grower’s permit in a region covering Kankakee County.

The case is one of several similar lawsuits that are being closely watched by the new marijuana industry.


Patients with certain illnesses are on their way to being able to use medical marijuana in Illinois, but time is running out.

Illinois' medical marijuana program is set to continue for another two and a half years. Sick people haven't even been able to legally buy cannabis yet.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says that wasn't his intent; he'd wanted the program to last twice that long. Lang blames a delay in Illinois awarding licenses to firms to grow and sell cannabis. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a list of the companies that will be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois. Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail stores went out today. 

Caveman 92223 / Flickr

There's one issue nobody wants to talk about when it comes to state medical marijuana laws, and that's the part where people still have to break the law.

Getting the first seeds for medical operations often involves either shopping in the underground market or crossing state lines, which is a violation of state and federal laws. The situation is known as the "immaculate conception'' or the "first seed'' problem. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The production and distribution of medical marijuana is slowly coming together in Illinois. It’s a complicated process with a lot of factors that need to be worked out before the first patient picks up medication from a state dispensary.