If the first few days of applications are any indicator, demand for medical marijuana in Illinois will be high. Patients could begin filling out applications to get a medical cannabis identification card Tuesday. In just a few days, thousands have started signing up. “We were anticipating a couple hundred people would start the application process during the first couple of days, so we did see more than 2,000, which was obviously higher than we expected,” said Melaney Arnold, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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Arnold says the process has gone smoothly so far. At this time, applications are open only to qualifying patients with last names beginning with A through L. Those with last names beginning with M through Z can start signing up on Nov. 1. While IDPH is encouraging patients to get their applications in early, no medical cannabis will be available until sometime next year.