IL MMJ Patient Pool Balloons, More Growth Possible

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The Illinois medical marijuana customer base has grown rapidly in the past few weeks.

State health officials reported that roughly 2,500 residents have applied for MMJ cards, an increase of roughly 150% from earlier in March. Thus far, about 1,600 MMJ patient applicants have been approved by the state, according to an Illinois TV station.

That’s good news for the few dozen companies in Illinois that have obtained business permits.

The low patient counts have been of concern to cannabis entrepreneurs in the state. One MMJ company even declined a cultivation license it had been awarded because it was concerned that only 1,000 patients had signed up as of a few weeks ago.

Rumors and uncertainties have been swirling in the Illinois market since early February, when newly-inaugurated Gov. Bruce Rauner suddenly issued 70 business licenses.

Still, one Illinois news outlet reports that some prospective patients may be waiting to apply until the future of the program is on more solid footing. The program’s rollout has been plagued by legal challenges and delays.

It’s not certain yet when the first dispensary may open, though some insiders say they’re hoping it’ll be in September.