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Slow, steady growth expected for medical marijuana in Illinois

Peoria Journal Star – Don’t look for medical marijuana to be a quick hit in Illinois. But over time, the state’s newest enterprise is expected to create quite a buzz. That’s the opinion of Hilary Bricken, an attorney with the Seattle-based Canna Law Group that specializes in the legalities surrounding the growing marijuana industry. In August, Illinois became the 20th state in the country to join “the cannabis union” and the second most populous state (behind California) to allow medical marijuana. The bill, signed into law in August, will license 60 registered dispensaries and 22 “cultivation centers” around the state. The law goes into effect in January 2014 but don’t look for legal pot shops to spring up any time soon, said Bricken. “You’ve got three state departments that won’t take up drafting specific regulations until January,” she said, referring to the Illinois departments of agriculture, public health and financial and professional regulation. It’s going to take a year before any of these businesses can start operating, maybe 15 to 18 months,” said Bricken, referring to the growing and selling of medical marijuana.

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Patients in veterans homes would have easier access to medical marijuana under law

Associated Press – Sick military veterans who want medical marijuana would get it more easily under legislation that’s getting committee approval. The House Judiciary Committee sent Rep. Lou Lang’s bill to the floor for consideration. The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of Illinois’ first law legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed it in August. But it requires a sick person to get a letter from a doctor. Veterans home doctors are federal employees — barred from approving cannabis use. Lang’s legislation would allow veterans to get a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health certifying he or she has a condition that qualifies for marijuana treatment under the law. The committee voted 10-6 to move the bill to the House floor.

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