The Illinois Department of Public Health began accepting patient applications today for the state’s medical cannabis pilot program. Applicants whose last names begin with the letters A through L may apply today through the end of October. Applicants with last names that start with M through Z may apply during the months of November and December. Beginning in January, applications for patient registry ID cards will be accepted for all applicants year-round.
Here are some useful links and information for patient applicants:
- Patients may sign up online here.
- For questions, the department’s Frequently Asked Questions are here.
- Patients may contact the department by phone at 855-636-3688, or by email at DPH.MedicalCannabis@illinois.gov.
- MPP has created resources for patients, including a summary of the law here, and a handout for physicians and patients who may have questions about medical cannabis registrations.
Applications for businesses are also now available. Final versions of the dispensary and cultivation center license applications, along with detailed instructions, are now available here. There is a narrow window to submit business applications. Both types of business applications must be received by their respective state agencies between September 8 and September 22.
It’s now been almost 13 years since nearly 70% of D.C. voters approved an initiative enacting a medical marijuana law in the nation’s capital, though you’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. An obscure budget provision known as the “Barr Amendment” stalled implementation for years, and when it was finally removed (after MPP hired Congressman Barr to help defeat his own amendment) in late 2009, the D.C. Council went to work passing an amendment to the law making the proposed program much more restrictive. Since then, the glacial pace of implementation has kept medicine from patients for another year.
But finally, there’s progress. Today, the D.C. Department of Health is making applications available for prospective cultivation center operators. You can read the official notice in today’s DC Register. Only those who submitted the required letter of intent back in June will be able to apply. There were over 100 letters submitted by groups interested in operating cultivation centers, including Benjamin Bronfman, the fiancé of rapper M.I.A. of Paper Planes fame.
Today’s notice applies only to cultivation centers, not dispensaries, so advocates will have to wait a little longer for those. There’s also no word on when patients will be able to apply to the program. Still, it’s progress.