Illinois’s Medical Marijuana Program is Taking Applications

Illinois plans to award up to 60 medical marijuana dispensary licenses for Illinois businesses to be spread throughout the state. The state received 211 applications for dispensaries—retail shops for medical marijuana—and 158 applications for grow centers. Illinois will allow 60 dispensaries statewide and 21 grow centers.

Another round of applications is scheduled for later this year. According to Bob Morgan, statewide project coordinator for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, the state hopes to issue the first round of licenses before the end of the year. The first legal marijuana should be available in spring 2015.

The program offers information detailing how qualifying patients may apply if having a debilitating medical condition. Patients with last names beginning A through L and caregivers may now register.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Medical Cannabis will be the point of contact in applying for help. Qualifying conditions are listed that indicate eligibility for the program such as Cancer, Hepatitis C, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis; just to name a few.

Even though you may have a debilitating medical condition, that does not necessarily make you a qualified patient. You must submit an application. Fees are associated with the application and takes about 30 days to review. The department has 15 days after an application is approved to issue a registry identification card, which will be valid for one year.

Qualifying applicants must:

  • Be a resident of the state of Illinois at the time of application and remain a resident during participation in the program
  • Have a qualifying debilitating medical condition
  • Have a signed physician certification for the use of medical cannabis
  • Complete the fingerprint-based background check and not have been convicted of an excluded offense (a felony under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act or Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or similar provisions in a local ordinance or other jurisdiction), unless the Department waives such a conviction(s)
  • Be at least 18 years of age

Currently, there are no dispensaries in operation but they are expected to be located in specific districts throughout the state.

Links are also available for information about opening a cultivation center or a medical cannabis dispensary.

At present, having being improved for using medical marijuana does not improve your chances of life insurance. More than the drug itself, the medical issue itself will affect your rates. Guaranteed life is available with no exam and you can receive life insurance without having to qualify for coverage based on your health. But check with a qualified insurance agent.

Premiums can be high without a medical exam but there is hope and everyone’s conditions is different.

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