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Medical marijuana rules before Illinois committee

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:14 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Not a single marijuana seed has been planted in Illinois' pilot medical cannabis program. But medical marijuana is inching closer to reality and a meeting set for Tuesday will shape the program's future.

A legislative rules committee is meeting in Chicago to review — and possibly approve — the proposed regulations for the program. Approval would mean the state could launch the application process for marijuana growers, retailers and patients.

The new state law allows 21 marijuana cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries geographically scattered around Illinois. Aspiring marijuana entrepreneurs hope to be growing the plant by later this fall for sale in early 2015 to patients who qualify for a medical marijuana card.

The Marijuana Policy Project estimates more than 10,000 qualifying patients could eventually sign up.

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