Illinois Again Rejects MMJ Expansion

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For the second time in a row – and for the exact same reason – the Illinois health department has rejected a recommendation to expand the state’s qualifying condition list for medical marijuana.

Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the state’s health department, shot down an attempt to add post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, osteoarthritis and several pain-related conditions to the list of allowable conditions. The state’s own Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended adding the conditions to the list.

The decision, announced on Friday, is discouraging for the state’s fledgling MMJ industry, which is desperate for more patients to sign up for the program

Patients can currently receive medical cannabis for 39 aliments, but few people in Illinois actually suffer from those conditions. To date, just 4,000 people have signed up – a smaller-than-expected market for dispensaries and growers.

Shah also shot down a recommendation last fall to add 11 new conditions, saying the state needed time to evaluate how the program is going. That’s the same reasoning Shah used this time around as well, according to the Chicago Tribune.