Illinois' medical marijuana program has gotten off to a rough start. Illinois has one of the most strict medical marijuana programs in the country, and has still yet to help even one patient get safe access to legal medical marijuana. Combine no safe access with a very small list of qualifying conditions, and the creates a recipe for a very limited program. In fact, Illinois only has roughly 1,000 medical marijuana patients for the entire state. Per ABC Chicago:
Illinois has now approved approximately 1,000 patients for the state's medical marijuana program.
Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Wednesday that about 14,000 people have started the patient registration process. Of those, about 2,100 have submitted at least part of the application.
To put that into perspective, Oregon has 69,865 medical marijuana patients out of a state population of 3.93 million people. Illinois has a population of 12.88 million, yet only 1,000 patients as I stated previously. Illinois has over three times as many people, but less than two percent of the medical marijuana patient population that Oregon does. I know that there are a lot of people scrambling to get into the business side of Illinois' medical marijuana program, but I think a lot of them are in for a rude awakening once they see what demand for the industry will actually be. Of course, patient numbers will rise as safe access eventually starts, but until the list of qualifying conditions expands, the program will always be limited.