Just when we thought Illinois was making considerable progress in debuting its medical marijuana program, the state runs into more delays. Last Wednesday was Illinois' self-imposed deadline to grant licenses to medical marijuana growers and sellers, but unfortunately the state missed the mark.
No explanation or reason was given for missing the deadline aside from the following statement released by state officials:
"We are strongly committed to bringing relief to thousands of people across the state and ensuring Illinois is the national model for implementing medical cannabis. We are working hard to make sure this is done right. We are conducting a comprehensive review of every cultivation center and dispensary applicant to ensure that only the most qualified are approved for this important program. We will announce the recipients when this important review is finished."
This delay will result in a domino effect for the entire program — growers must wait to plant their seeds, harvests will be delayed, and patients will have to wait even longer to obtain their medicine. We understand the need to be thorough and set up a properly vetted program, but with a number of state medical marijuana programs running successfully across the nation, there are plenty of positive examples to follow. Hopefully Illinois will be able to recover from its latest stumble quickly, as thousands of patients are depending on a rapid implementation.