Illinois Won’t Expand List of Qualifying Conditions for MMJ

The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that it won’t add new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program at this time, a big blow to cannabis businesses that were hoping officials would help expand the market for MMJ.

The decision comes after a state panel recently recommended adding 11 new conditions – including post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome – to the list of qualifying ailments for medical cannabis.

Illinois does allow MMJ use for 39 conditions, but most of them only affect a small sliver of the state’s population.

The news raises more questions about the long-term viability of the state’s emerging cannabis industry. As of late August, only about 2,800 patients had registered for MMJ, which isn’t nearly enough to sustain the 60 dispensaries and 21 cultivators the state is slated to license.

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6 comments on “Illinois Won’t Expand List of Qualifying Conditions for MMJ
  1. Karen on

    It’s unfortunate when the state puts politics before patients. The estimate is nearly 4 million residents in Illinois could have been eligible for medical cannabis, if the state approved the advisory boards recommendation to add the 11 conditions. Disappointing is an understatement.

    • Rick Fague on

      I agree, and very shortsighted as well, since all they’re doing is forcing people with PTSD, migraines, and IBS to use marijuana illegally, which defeats one of the major goals of legalization, taking the financial incentives away from the black market.

      We really need a medically approved, comprehensive list of ailments that qualify that’s consistent throughout the whole country, the same as any other prescribed drug, but Illinois seems to favor strengthening the black market and moving away from common sense.

  2. Talib-Din on

    I’m certain politics is the primary motivation for limiting the number of approved usage. We are aware of Rauner’s deep connections to big Pharma, and thus the potential loss in personal revenue and a weakening of Political influence.

    I have this misfortune of being prescribed quite powerful narcotics (50mcg/hr Fentanyl patch and 180mg/daily Oxycodone) in order to simply cope with my illness. I have been afflicted with Chronic Irritable Bowle Syndrome. This disease is extraordinarily painful, unpredictable, and unmanageable-having dominated my life in virtually every facet during the last five years. I am extremely concerned about addiction.

    I would love to trade my patches (or both narcotics) for licensed medical marijuana. However, being that my patches cost $285/month and my Oxycodone $180/month often I am confronted with the necessity of selecting one or the other medication. If I only had to pay $75/month for a less harsh drug that can provide equivalent pain relief (if not better) at a fraction of the cost-I would jump on it. However, this would deny Pharmas nearly $500. As an individual this is insignificant. However, collectively with others in a similar plight, this can have a substantial impact upon a number of Pharmas whereof narcotic pain relief constitutes 80% of their sales revenue. Even worse (in the view of the wealthy), this revenue will now transfer to small start-ups.

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