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Lawmaker Paranoid About Future of Medical Marijuana in Illinois

Jan 13, 2015

The sponsor of Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program is unsure whether it will come to fruition.

Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said former Governor Pat Quinn left office Monday without approving licenses for people to sell and grow marijuana. 

A cannabis plant
Credit Wiki Commons

Lang said he worked for five years to create the program so Illinois residents could have relief from debilitating and painful conditions.

“My concern is not about me. My concern is about those patients and those caregivers,” Lang said.

“My secondary concern is about entrepreneurs who relied on the promise of the state that if they filed their applications under the rules, there would be scoring and there would be licenses issued. It was unfair to all of these folks.”

Quinn's administration had spent months reviewing applications. It gave no official reason for withholding approval. 

Lang said he will work with Illinois' new governor, Bruce Rauner, to try to issue the licenses.  However, in September Rauner called the process “rigged” and he urged Quinn to halt it.  

The medical marijuana program was supposed to be a four-year pilot project. Lang said because of the delays, he might try to pass a measure extending it.