Bradley Vallerius, a consultant for medical marijuana business owners, said these rules are fair and similar to states such as Colorado and Massachusetts. Vallerius, who wrote a book on Illinois medical marijuana law, is working to pool together different people and businesses to own a cultivation center. He said he is focused more on central and southern Illinois districts because the Chicago area is likely to be very competitive.
But Julie Falco, who uses cannabis to treat her multiple sclerosis, fears the rules will make the drug too pricey. She said higher state costs for businesses could mean more expenses for marijuana users.
“It’s definitely the concern amongst a lot of patients,” Falco said. “Are we going to get a reasonable amount of medicine that we have to completely break the bank on?”
The Department of Public Health has issued proposed regulations that would require medical marijuana patients to be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 a year to get special photo identification.
“It’s clear this is a merit-based system. This is not, ‘Hey, I’ve got some money. I qualify for it. Pull my name out of a hat.’ There is going to be a rigorous review of applications,” Williams said.