You are here: Home / Policy & Legal / Illinois / Medical marijuana popularity surging in Illinois as revisions in law allow greater access... Medical marijuana popularity surging in Illinois as revisions in law allow greater access for patients

The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it easier for patients to participate.

More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores opened in November 2015 — including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year, based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The number of patients has continued to climb, according to the state’s monthly reports, since the state dropped requirements for patient fingerprints and criminal background checks in 2018, and added 11 new qualifying illnesses in August including common conditions such as chronic pain, migraines and arthritis.

Retail sales exceeded $22 million in September alone, almost evenly split between cannabis flower and concentrates and infused products.

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