Mobile clinics in Illinois connect hopeful marijuana patients with doctors

Medical marijuana has been available in Illinois for about 18 months. But many people around the state, particularly in Southern Illinois, say they can’t find a doctor in their area to help them. A few groups have found a way to change that – they’re now bringing doctors directly to the patients with qualifying conditions.

Illinois House passes marijuana decriminalization bill

On May 18, the Illinois House voted to move Illinois to ticket-based penalties for possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. If the governor signs Senate Bill 2228, instead of making arrests, police will start issuing tickets ranging from $100 to $200 per offense. Previously, anyone caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana could have been charged with a misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $1,500 and possible jail time of up to six months. Under SB 2228, anyone charged with the civil marijuana possession penalty would also automatically have his or her record expunged six months after the bill’s effective date.

Medical marijuana debuts in Illinois but some patients turned away

Illinois’ medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors Monday and have begun processing patients who will receive the first batches of the drug under the state’s four-year pilot programs.

At EarthMed, a dispensary in Addison, the first patient to legally purchase pot, Chris Favela, 19, emerged with a small, opaque canister of a strain called Grape God. He paid $180 for about nine grams of the marijuana.

IL marijuana industry pins hopes on skeptical governor

Advocates of Illinois’ troubled medical marijuana experiment hope to reassure investors by pushing to have lawmakers extend it beyond 2017, when it expires, but the initiative faces an uncertain fate on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk. Entrepreneurs and backers say the success of the four-year program does not depend on an extension. But after a year of stumbles, lawsuits and delays, they believe it would send a signal that the program won’t end before the state can work out the problems and do a proper evaluation.