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What You Need To Know About Illinois' First Medical Marijuana Shops

By Kate Shepherd in News on Nov 9, 2015 10:34PM

Photo Credit: Laughing Squid

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois opened for business Monday.

Now, about 3,300 patients with Illinois-issued ID cards will be able to purchase marijuana at eight licensed dispensaries, according to WGN.

In order to become a legal buyer, patients must apply with proof that they have one of 39 approved-conditions from their doctors. The conditions range from cancer to Crohn's disease to lupus to HIV and AIDS. Then the applicants must be fingerprinted and go through a background check.

Patients can't buy more than two and a half ounces of cannabis every two weeks and the purchases are tracked in state databases.

What else you need to know about medical marijuana in Illinois:

Where are the eight dispensaries open now?
Marion, Mundelein, Canton, Quincy, Addison, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Ottawa

Will the state open up any more dispensaries?
Yes, the state plans on opening up 25 dispensaries by the end of the year and 12 to 15 by the end of November, according to Joseph Wright, the Director of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

What conditions and diseases qualify for medical marijuana?
• Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
• Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
• Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomelia
• Cachexia/wasting syndrome
• Cancer
• Causalgia
• Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
• Crohn's disease
• CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II)
• Dystonia
• Fibromyalgia (severe)
• Fibrous dysplasia
• Glaucoma
• Hepatitis C
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
• Hydrocephalus
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Lupus
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Muscular dystrophy
• Myasthenia Gravis
• Myoclonus
• Nail-patella syndrome
• Neurofibromatosis
• Parkinson's disease
• Post-concussion syndrome
• RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I)
• Residual limb pain
• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
• Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy (Starting January 1, 2015)
• Sjogren's syndrome
• Spinal cord disease, including, but not limited to, arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia
• Spinal cord injury
• Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
• Tourette’s syndrome
• Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Can we lobby the state to approve more conditions?
Yes, Illinois residents can petition the Illinois Department of Public Health to add debilitating medical conditions or diseases to the list. Petitions are only accepted twice Jan. 1 through Jan. 31 and from July 1 through July 31.

What about the new conditions recommended by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board?
On Oct. 7, the board recommended eight new conditions/diseases for medical marijuana approval: Chronic pain due to trauma, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Chronic Post-Operative Pain, Intractable Pain, Osteoarthritis, Autism, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
Before it's official, the director of the IDPH must approve the recommendation and the department must adopt administrative rules to add those conditions and diseases, according to the state.
Don't apply for those conditions before they are officially adopted because applications will be rejected.

How do I apply for the program?
Applications are being accepted here. Remember that you must have your doctor sign a form verifying your condition.