Cultivation centers, dispensaries, patients and caregivers, and taxes are the subjects of a recent update announced by the State of Illinois as it begins the formal rulemaking process for the implementation of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Involved in the process of rulemaking are the three main agencies involved: The Illinois Department of Agriculture (“IDOA”), the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”), the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) and the Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDOR”).
The proposed rules have been available for review and comment on the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website for more than 70 days and will remain for an additional 45 days for comment and suggestion until the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (“JCAR”) takes its next step in further review of the proposed rules.
Directly from the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program – Update #3, the following changes have been incorporated into the proposed rules:
- While the Act calls for one cultivation center in each of the 22 Illinois State Police Districts statewide, District 15 is the Illinois Tollway system. Therefore, the proposed rules reflect that only 21 cultivation center licenses will be issued at this time. One entity can be awarded licenses for up to three cultivation centers.
- IDOA will inspect each facility at least weekly and live security camera video will feed to IDOA and to the Illinois State Police (ISP).
- The single-stage application process includes a $25,000 non-refundable application fee, proof of $500,000 in liquid assets and documentation satisfying selection and optional bonus criteria. Applications will be scored by an IDOA-selected team.
- The rules define residential zoning areas to address the dispensary location concerns of some cities and counties. IDFPR will permit up to 60 dispensaries around the state. One entity can receive permits in up to five districts.
- The two-stage application process includes a $5,000 non-refundable application fee, proof of $400,000 in liquid assets and documentation satisfying selection and optional bonus criteria. Applications will be scored by an IDFPR-selected team.
Patients and Caregivers
- Reduced registration fees are $100 for eligible patients; $50 for eligible patients on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance, as well as veterans; and $25 for caregivers.
- Previous language regarding Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards and medical cannabis identification cards has been removed. The State is continuing to examine how the State’s medical cannabis and firearm laws may interact with federal firearm laws.
- An expanded 15-member Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee, which now includes qualifying patients, a health care provider with general practice experience and nurses or nurse practitioners with experience working with medical cannabis patients, will review petitions to recommend adding qualifying medical conditions twice each year.
- The rules clarify physician written certification language and pre-operation cultivation center inspections.
- Cultivators will pay a 7 percent privilege tax on sales to dispensaries and patients/caregivers will pay a 1 percent sales tax.
As more updates become available, the law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates will share those updates. The firm counsels and represents individuals interested in setting up legal and compliant business operations to join in the big business of medical cannabis in Illinois.
Michael V. Favia & Associates operates offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, so you can schedule a discreet meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please visit www.IL-Licensing.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.
 Illinois.gov: Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, Update on April 18, 2014.