Thursday, September 25, 2014

Illinois Collects $5 Million From Potential Marijuana Farmers And Dispensaries

A new Illinois law will allow farmers to grow and retail establishments to sell medical marijuana. Applicants seeking licenses from the state plopped down about $5 million in application fees before this week's deadline. According to the Sun-Times, 158 applicants paid non-refundable, $25,000 fees seeking a license to cultivate marijuana, while 211 paid a non-refundable, $5,000 fee to be licensed as a dispensary of medical marijuana.

State officials said they were surprised by the number of applications received. The program to be administered by the Department of Agriculture will remain self-funded, which is a requirement of the law. Over 2,000 seriously ill people have submitted applications to be registered users of medical marijuana, which state officials hope to make available to patients by next spring.

Gov. Pat Quinn's Republican opponent, businessman Bruce Rauner, has said he would have vetoed the law. He has already complained that the process to obtain a license isn't open enough, and it allows Quinn's administration to decide in secret to whom 21 cultivation and 60 dispensary licenses will be issued across the state.

State officials claim that a half dozen employees from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Professional Regulation will review the applications with their names blacked out to promote impartiality in the selection process. Rauner complains that Quinn's former chief of staff, Jack Lavin, is representing one of the first medical marijuana applicants. Two supporters of Rauner's campaign, Steve Denari and Tom Cronin, have established an angel fund to loan money to businesses seeking to establish medical marijuana businesses in Illinois. Rauner argued the state should have auctioned off the licenses to the highest bidders rather than allow state employees to pick and choose winners and losers.


Anonymous said...

Question: Is agriculture regulation jurisdictionally given to the states?

This questions doesn't concern dispensaries.

Gary R. Welsh said...

It isn't given to the states; it's a right they already had. See the long list of laws the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture administers here: