It’s been a year since the state’s medical marijuana law went into effect, but nothing has been planted. Exactly when medical cannabis would be available for patients in Illinois has been pushed back repeatedly, and with the licensing process for cultivation centers still not complete, it may be summer before any marijuana is ready.
Dan Linn, the executive director for the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says this problem could have been solved by loosening one restriction in the state’s medical cannabis law.
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“In other states, they do allow for patients or caregivers to grow their own medicine,” Linn said, “and if Illinois would’ve passed a law allowing for that to take place, you could already see patients having access to this medicine, and this delay in the licensing process for the business wouldn’t be as detrimental to patients’ health as it currently is.”
Linn says one way medical marijuana could be made available sooner is if cultivation centers acquire plants that have already started growing, though licensees would have to get those from people growing marijuana illegally. Linn says the state has admitted it will “turn a blind eye” to where centers will get their first seeds or plants.