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Illinois Dispensaries Prepare for Medical Marijuana Industry Growth

Cannabis Businesses

Illinois has made it easier for residents to qualify for a medical marijuana card. Anticipating the increase in demand, Quad Cities businesses are already ramping up cultivation. A massive expansion is in the works to add on 70,000-sqft. of production space to one cultivation location.

Illinois amended the medical marijuana program registration process in February which provides provisional registration cards within 24 hours of approval, WQAD 8 News says. The provisional cards can be used at dispensaries. In February, the state reports having 57,837 registered medical marijuana patients.

Charles Amadin of Green Thumb Industries said, “We have plans to expand this site by 60 percent. The expansion would add 70,000 square feet to the existing 60,000 square feet of growing space in Rock Island.”

Amadin also said, “In this facility, we have 100 strains that have a variety of benefits.”

Amadin said, “We have already seen an increase in patient count because of the actual process of patients being able to obtain temporary approval within 24-48 hr. period that is existing now.”

Green Thumbs Industries plans to double the amount of usable medical marijuana it produces. This would bring their production amount up to about 14,000 pounds.

Illinois now offers its residents the option to try medical marijuana as an option for replacing opioids. Doctors can also recommend medical marijuana in lieu of opioids for those that want to see if it works better. Those struggling with opioid addiction also have this option.

Shannon Ballegeer of Nature’s Treatment of Illinois said, “We see [the opioid alternative program catching traction over the next few months, so we expect a lot more patients.”

Some businesses are adding cultivation and production/manufacturing space while others are expanding retail space and consultation room spaces. The medical marijuana program is expected to grow rapidly with the improvements made in February allowing faster access to more people.

Amadin said, “A lot of people have stigmas about medical cannabis, but when they come into this facility and see how professional it is, and how much care we take, a lot of doors open up.”