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High July: 2,800 People Approved For Medical Marijuana As Apps Spike

By Selena Fragassi in News on Aug 6, 2015 2:30PM

Medical marijuana applications hit another spike in July, with 200 new patients approved to use the alternative drug for a variety of permissible health issues once dispensaries open later this year.

That now brings the total to 2,800 registered patients in the state of Illinois according to the Department of Public Health, including for the first time ten children.

In theory, people under 18 are permitted to use the medicinal plant if they qualify for any of the same 40 conditions that adults qualify for, however they must take extra steps to provide certification from two doctors rather than one. That is a huge win for parents of epileptic children who have been pushing the state to allow minors access to the treatment course that has proven effective for warding off seizures.

Approvals are expected to climb as the year progresses and access to the drug becomes more available; so far the Department of Public Health has seen 23,700 semi-completed applications, though those who have the green card have yet to see a green sign on any storefront notifying open sales. Though the program is two-years-old, there haven’t been any sales or a real harvest, but that hasn’t waned interest. Some have been leaving their jobs and investing millions into cultivation centers, seeing a potential for strong demand.

One of those people is Teddy Scott, CEO of Pharmacannis and a former lawyer who left his job for the business opportunity; so far he’s put $10 million into his venture and is expected to be one of the first to open the doors to his dispensary in Ottawa allegedly this October, according to ABC 7. Tribune also compiled a story about the burst of jobs the medicinal marijuana industry could provide, with many now hiring in anticipation, and WBEZ recently put together a new segment about the role of the ‘budtender’ in the burgeoning industry that is just waiting to get off the ground.