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$100 to register for medical marijuana under state rules

The cost to patients registering to use medical marijuana will be less than what state officials had first suggested, according to rules posted Friday by state agencies that will oversee implementation of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

But those seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary or a cultivation center will need hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to those rules.

Illinois officials had posted preliminary rules for the implementation of the program and patient advocates balked at the cost of $150 for the annual application fee.



Now, in the revised rules, state officials say it will cost patients $100 a year for the annual application fee. The cost is $50 if the patient is a veteran or on Social Security Disability Income.

Some also were not pleased by the massive costs to those seeking to operate medical marijuana businesses, though the fees mostly remain the same in the amended rules.

Those seeking to sell medical marijuana will need to pony up $5,000 for a nonrefundable application fee; pay $30,000 for the registration fee; and have $400,000 in liquid assets. They also will need to be able to secure a $50,000 bond. 

Those seeking to grow the marijuana will have to pay $25,000 for a nonrefundable application fee and $200,000 for a permit, and they must have $500,000 in liquid assets. The previous proposed rules sought $250,000 in liquid assets. 

The grower also will need to have the assets to secure a $2 million surety bond.

State officials also removed a controversial provision that would have barred medical marijuana patients from obtaining Firearm Owner’s Identification cards and Concealed Carry Weapons Permits, which the Chicago Sun-Times first reported on Wednesday.

In all, 60 dispensaries will be allowed to open throughout the state, with 13 in Chicago. And up to 21 cultivation centers will be allowed to open, one in each Illinois State Police district throughout the state.

The rules now go to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which would have to review and approve the rules after a 45-day public comment period.