Proposed Rules Could Limit Size of IL Market

Illinois released draft regulations today outlining how patients will be able to register for medical marijuana cards.

The proposed rules would create some barriers that might ultimately restrict the size of the market for dispensaries.

Under the proposal, patients would have to fork over $150 a year for MMJ cards, undergo a background check and pay between $30 and $60 to get fingerprinted. They’d also need to develop a bona-fide relationship with a doctor that goes beyond a simple recommendation for medical marijuana, and physicians would need to keep detailed records of their meetings with patients.

Caregivers would have to pay an annual fee of $125, and they would be allowed to obtain medical cannabis from a dispensary for patients.

Perhaps most controversial: Patients and caregivers would be prohibited from having a firearm owners identification card or a concealed carry permit.

These restrictions – coupled with the fee – could keep some patients from registering with the program.

On the bright side, the state has proposed a nine-member panel to review requests for adding new qualifying medical conditions. Expanding the list of conditions would ultimately lead to a bigger market.

The state’s health department is now accepting public comments on the rules.

Illinois will likely have tens of thousands of patients participating in its medical marijuana program, creating a market worth tens of millions of dollars.