Illinois medical cannabis market rises as regulations loosen

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The medical marijuana market in Illinois is growing, especially after the addition of MMJ as an opioid alternative – a development that, if sustained, could significantly boost sales for businesses in the state.

State officials reported that MMJ card applications had reached 44,000 recently, news site noted.

That’s roughly 2,000 more than when Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, signed legislation in late August to allow the use of medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

At the same time, Illinois eliminated criminal background checks and fingerprint requirements for MMJ patient applicants.

Even before those moves, the Illinois MMJ market was growing steadily, with the number of patients more than doubling in the past 15 months, according to state figures.

The Illinois market also has the potential to be headed toward other changes.

J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat who supports legalizing recreational marijuana, has opened a formidable double-digit lead over Rauner as Illinois’ gubernatorial race heads to the final stretch.