CHICAGO (AP) -- Rules for Illinois' new medical cannabis program have been approved by a legislative committee, bringing legal marijuana one step closer to reality for qualifying patients.
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved the regulations at a meeting Tuesday in Chicago.
A law enacted last year authorized a four-year pilot project that will expire in 2017. So far, not a single marijuana seed has been planted. But now that rules have been approved, the state agencies running the program can start posting applications for a limited number of grower and retailer permits.
The Marijuana Policy Project estimates more than 10,000 patients could eventually sign up in Illinois.
The rules approved Tuesday will now be filed with the Secretary of State and published in the Illinois Register.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Not a single marijuana seed has been planted in Illinois' pilot medical cannabis program. But medical marijuana is inching closer to reality and a meeting set for Tuesday will shape the program's future.
A legislative rules committee is meeting in Chicago to review -- and possibly approve -- the proposed regulations for the program. Approval would mean the state could launch the application process for marijuana growers, retailers and patients.
The new state law allows 21 marijuana cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries geographically scattered around Illinois. Aspiring marijuana entrepreneurs hope to be growing the plant by later this fall for sale in early 2015 to patients who qualify for a medical marijuana card.
The Marijuana Policy Project estimates more than 10,000 qualifying patients could eventually sign up.