Medical Marijuana Cultivation Centers and Dispensaries Put on Hold as Rauner Takes Office

The question of whether medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries will receive their licenses has been put into the hands of the new governor, Bruce Rauner. Governor Pat Quinn left office without issuing the contemplated licenses and it is unclear whether Rauner will issue them. Rauner showed his opposition to medical marijuana during his campaign but sources indicate that he may be reconsidering his position. A Rauner spokeswoman said his administration is “in the process of reviewing it.”

While the decision to issue licenses has not been made, on Monday morning, Governor Quinn signed into law changes to the current medical marijuana program in Illinois. One significant change is that patients charged with driving under the influence of medical cannabis will have their medical marijuana card revoked and their driver’s license suspended.

Also, state regulators will have the authority to fine and suspend individuals for violating existing law. Before this change, the only penalty was to revoke a violator’s license. Additionally, fingerprints of owners, investors, and employees of cultivation centers and dispensaries as well as patients and caregivers will be checked against state and federal databases.

Hundreds of businesses filed applications in September and more than $5 million dollars has already been invested in cultivation centers and dispensary licenses. In addition, more than 650 patients have already paid $100 each for their medical marijuana cards.

Patients left ‘hanging’ as medical marijuana decisions delayed, www.chicagotribune.com, January 13, 2015
Medical marijuana licenses in limbo as Quinn leaves office, www.bnd.com, January 12, 2015

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