Illinois Medical Marijuana will be a key market in 2017
The Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program is the program through which Illinois will enforce its new medical marijuana law. Though the implementation of this program technically started on January 1, 2014, the program is still in its beginning stages of Illinois medical marijuana development. In fact, the Illinois Department of Health has been holding hearings open to the public, in order to foster discussion amongst potential patients and the public. Our small business law attorneys are carefully watching the progression of this law in order to determine what part small business owners and entrepreneurs will play in the implementation of Illinois’ medical marijuana law.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Meeting
Though Illinois’ medical marijuana law is technically in effect, the official program, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), which will govern the legal dispensing of marijuana to patients, is still being both drafted and formulated. Because the MCPP has not been fully implemented, it is still not legal to grow, possess, or offer to dispense medical marijuana until licenses have been issued and the MCPP is officially up and running. However, as a means to create a thorough and transparent process, the Illinois Department of Public Health has been holding community meetings open to the public, which are intended to provide patients and other relevant actors with information about the new law, and the progression and implementation of the MCPP.
Earlier this month the Illinois Department of Public Health held a hearing open to the public that included in-depth testaments concerning the proposed rules for the Illinois four-year medical marijuana pilot program. The hearing was intended to be a forum for patients to discuss and receive information about the new Illinois medical marijuana program. However, this public hearing quickly turned into a networking session between pharmacists, patients, would-be marijuana growers, and other local entrepreneurs looking to get involved in the medical marijuana business. Over 200 people attended this hearing all with different agendas. Patient were already lobbying for lower fees, pharmacists demanded an official role in the rulemaking process, and a local entrepreneur even promoted a Colorado business’s expertise in the growing, selling, and dispensing of medical marijuana.
Illinois Medical Marijuana Business: A New Gold Rush?
The Illinois government has not issued any official statements to the public regarding the potential size of the marijuana medical market and the tax revenue that could be generated. However, some speculate that this could quickly become a $20 million industry. This speculation is not completely unfounded. In California, medical marijuana dispensers draw in over a billion dollars annually. As a result entrepreneurs in Illinois are frantic to get involved in the growing, selling, and dispensing of medical marijuana. There are also businesses and entrepreneurs outside of Illinois that are looking to get in on the action. These actors would be involved in both the growing and transporting of marijuana to the local Illinois area dispensaries. The Colorado-based Gaia Plant-Based Medicine has already been creating partnerships with both Illinois entrepreneurs, as well as the illegal marijuana growing population of Illinois. The illegal growers in Illinois are a group of entrepreneurs that stand to make a lot of money through the Illinois medical marijuana program. This is because eventually they will be able to sell their seeds to dispensers for cultivation, or they may even be able to sell the finished grown products directly to dispensers.
On May 21, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be holding a second hearing in Springfield. Contact the Gierach Law Firm small business law attorneys here in Naperville, Illinois to learn about the legality of growing and dispensing medical marijuana.