Lawmakers reassure medical cannabis patients amid supply concerns as Illinois prepares for recreational sales

By: Cole Lauterbach

State legislators responsible for the passage of Illinois’ recreational cannabis law are working to reassure medical cannabis patients worried about shortages after recreational sales begin Jan. 1.

In an open letter, state Reps. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield; Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago; Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria; Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago; David Welter, R-Morris, and state Sens. Laura Fine, D-Glenview and Heather Steans, D-Chicago said the law was crafted to ensure ample supply for the state’s medical cannabis cardholders.

“There should be no doubt that medical cannabis patients will be prioritized once CRTA becomes effective in January,” they wrote. “CRTA provides medical cannabis patients priority sales in the event of any product shortages, and also guarantees medical cannabis dispensaries shall continue to provide the same variety and quantity of product as they did on July 1, 2019.”

Any dispensary that fails to keep that supply on hand could face a $10,000 fine per instance. 

“We put in place in our law language requiring dispensaries to make available not just quantity but variety,” Cassidy said Wednesday. 

Illinois’ medical cannabis program has grown to nearly 100,000 patients after fingerprinting and background check requirements were lifted this year. 

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