Hundreds of potential applicants for patient, caregiver, dispensary and cultivation center licenses showed up to the Northern Illinois Town Hall meeting on Aug. 20 in Chicago. A five-person panel of state officials armed with rulebooks and expansive program knowledge answered a barrage of questions from potential applicants and community members. Below are a few of the answers that came out of the four-hour session.
For patient applicants:
- Starting in 2015, patients can apply on a rolling basis.
- IL Department of Public Health will provide a list of dispensaries to patients and patients will have to register with one dispensary.
For Cultivation Centers and Dispensaries:
On lab testing:
- The state will approve independent labs and the Department of Agriculture will also have a lab of its own for random testing against lab samples
- Testing laboratory applications will be available online soon
On Background Checks/Fingerprinting:
- Livescan vendors who have approval will conduct background checks. Fingerprint consent forms provided by the Department of Public Health will be online soon
- Fingerprints must be taken in-state and you only need to scan them once. Although you must submit 2 sets for dispensary and cultivation center applications
- A waiver process will be put into place for offenses in other states
- Dispensaries will provide application materials for their agents; and while no principal officer can be a patient, the rules are silent for agents
- Cultivation centers will package and label cannabis for sale at the dispensary level. Dispensaries need to include a label of their own on the package as well.
Other pertinent cultivation center and dispensary information:
- There was recently a list of approved pesticides added to the rules.
- Two cultivation center agents must be in the vehicle transporting medicinal cannabis. A transport company may also be used in addition to the two agents.
- Dispensaries should list their plan to sell items even though they will not know exact strains and products that may be available based on the cultivation centers. Identifying strains and which conditions they may help, edibles or other products, etc. will be helpful information.
- The Surety Bond form is not a requirement during the application. However, if a cultivation center or dispensary receives a license they will need to provide one upon inspection.
- Each applicant should do its own due diligence on daycares in the area.
And two very important notes when it comes to applications:
- Applications must be demonstrable. If you say you plan to do something, the state expects that you will do it; and
- Always over-disclose information rather than under-disclose.
The panel urged the crowd to remember that this is a pilot program. The state expects changes to the rules in the future. All changes must go through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Additions to the conditions that have approval can be made via petition beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, with forms available in the fall.