Applications now online for people seeking medical marijuana

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Seriously ill people seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois can start filling out the application to belong to the program.

Illinois officials on Friday posted the nine-page patient application online.

Patients whose last names begin with the letters A through L can submit their applications from Sept. 2 to Oct. 31.

Then patients whose last names begin with the letters M through Z can send in their information Nov. 1 through the end of the year, according to the application.

It will cost patients $100 a year for the annual application fee. The cost is $50 if the patient is a veteran or on Social Security Disability Income.

The form doctors will have to fill out to recommend their patient for the program is also posted.

Patients will have to have a fingerprint-based background check done. That consent form is also posted.

The state also revealed the a draft of application for those seeking to open one of the 60 dispensaries that will sell medical marijuana throughout the state. Of those, 13 will be in Chicago.

The draft application for the 21 cultivation centers, which will grow medical marijuana, are also posted.

Those applications for entrepreneurs indicate the state will weight applicants for the limited licenses on a points system.

For dispensaries, the business plan and the security plan as among the most important aspects. For the growing operations, the cultivation plan and the security plan are the most important aspects, according to the application.

Those seeking to sell medical marijuana will need to pony up $5,000 for a nonrefundable application fee, pay $30,000 for the registration fee and have $400,000 in liquid assets. They also will need to be able to secure a $50,000 bond.

Those seeking to grow the marijuana will have to pay $25,000 for a nonrefundable application fee and $200,000 for a permit, and they must have $500,000 in liquid assets. The grower also will need to have the assets to secure a $2 million surety bond.

State officials expect to accept the business applications from Sept. 8 through Sept. 22.

There will also be three meetings throughout the state to answer any questions about applications.

In Chicago it will Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. at Northeastern Illinois University, Alumni Hall (North), Student Union Building, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave.

State officials have said they expect patients will be able to start using the product early next year.

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