The number of patients who have been authorized to purchase medical marijuana in the state's pilot program has reached 4,000, including 26 children, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
While that's an increase of just 400 qualifying patients since the health department's last update on Dec. 2, the pace at which applications are being approved has accelerated compared to previous months.
A total of 5,200 individuals have submitted complete applications to IDPH since it began accepting them for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program on Sept. 2, 2014. Legal sales of medical cannabis in Illinois started on Nov. 9, and patients have purchased nearly $1.7 million worth of pot over the past two months, according to program director Joseph Wright.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
"Wholesale sales -- what growers sold to dispensaries -- totaled more than $1.5 million. That indicates Illinois has collected roughly $107,000 in taxes in the pilot program. Marijuana wholesalers pay a 7 percent tax to the state... The retail price per gram on average was roughly $14 to $15."
The number of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in the state also has increased, with 21 now open for business as of Jan. 4.
Here's a complete list of dispensaries that are now open, as well as the latest updates from IDPH about the application process and how to petition to add additional qualifying illnesses and conditions to the list of 39 currently approved by the state.
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