Medical Marijuana is officially legal in Illinois. With his signature, Governor Pat Quinn kicked off a pilot program that allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with some chronic diseases.
It is one of the most restrictive programs in nation--requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks and limiting patients to purchasing 2 and-a-half ounces of marijuana at a time. A network of dispensaries and growers will be regulated by the state.
The medical marijuana will be taxed at the same 1% rate as other pharmaceuticals. There will also be a tax on grow facilities and dispensaries of 7%. The planned 22 grow facilities will each hire no more than 10 employees. The state of Illinois expects hundreds of new jobs in related industries to be created.
The new law also bans campaign contributions from operators of cultivation centers and dispensaries.
The law takes effect on January 1, 2014 and is a four-year pilot program.