The process of getting a medical marijuana business license in Illinois has been very competitive. I talked to one applicant who told me that his company spent roughly one million dollars to try to obtain one or more cultivation licenses in Illinois, and his company didn’t receive a license. During my conversation with him, I pointed out that even if he had received a license, he would be one of 21 cultivation license holders that would be serving a very, very small patient base due to the short list of qualifying conditions that patients can qualify for a medical marijuana card in Illinois.
I could tell by the look on his face during our interaction that he didn’t understand what I was saying, or didn’t believe me. As of right now, there are only roughly 1,600 medical marijuana patients in Illinois. That means for every cultivation company that is investing enormous amounts of money into a cultivation facility, they will only be serving between 76-77 patients as of right now. A lot of companies are going to lose a lot of money at that rate.
A medical marijuana program is only as good as the list of qualifying conditions it allows to be approved for the program. I personally feel that if someone is suffering, from whatever ailment, and they find relief using medical marijuana, they should be allowed to do so legally. To say otherwise lacks compassion. There could be changes on the way in Illinois. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
The medical marijuana patient pool in Illinois, which has alarmed some in the state’s cannabis industry because it’s quite small thus far, may be on the verge of expanding.
The state Department of Public Health is considering a petition from potential patients to expand the list of qualifying medical conditions for MMJ, and will hold a public hearing on May 4, according to the Associated Press. After that, a panel of doctors, nurses, patients and a pharmacist will make a formal recommendation to the department.
The advocates behind the petition want to see more than 20 more conditions added to the current list, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, migraines and insomnia.
Expanding the list of qualifying conditions in Illinois is vital to the state’s medical marijuana program’s success. Both from a business standpoint, and from a compassion standpoint. No one that suffers should be left without medicine, or forced to purchase unregulated medicine from the black market. If you live in Illinois, I highly encourage you to participate in the public hearing. Tell everyone you know to do the same. Be polite and courteous at the meeting, but also make sure that your opinion is heard. Share your story, and stories of others.
Below is the current list of qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Illinois:
• Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
• Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
• Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomelia
• Cachexia/wasting syndrome
• Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
• Crohn’s disease
• CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II)
• Fibromyalgia (severe)
• Fibrous dysplasia
• Hepatitis C
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Muscular dystrophy
• Myasthenia Gravis
• Nail-patella syndrome
• Parkinson’s disease
• Post-concussion syndrome
• RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I)
• Residual limb pain
• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
• Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy (Starting January 1, 2015)
• Sjogren’s syndrome
• Spinal cord disease, including, but not limited to, arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia
• Spinal cord injury
• Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
• Tourette’s syndrome
• Traumatic brain injury (TBI)