Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, a marijuana consulting firm, gives Belleville News an exclusive on the upsurge of applications for medical cannabis cards in Illinois.
Between July and August, Illinois increased approval rates for medical cannabis cards. There was a 1.4% increase in just one month. In July, 3,500 people applied for the cards. Only 2,800 of those were approved (5.7%). The following month, 3,700 people sent applications. 3,000 of those applications were approved (1.4% increase).
Michael Mayes’, CEO of Quantum 9, Explains Possible Reasons for the Increased Approval for Medical Cannabis Cards
Mayes Predicts an Upsurge
The Belleville News interviewed marijuana consulting expert Michael Mayes on the topic. Before it happened, Mayes knew it was coming. Illinois had more than 50 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries getting ready to release product at the time.
Mayes knew well before the upsurge that more people would be applying for the cards. However, Mayes notes that it may not be worth it for certain patients to get the cards in the first place.
Should people even apply for medical cannabis cards?
According to Mayes, the answer might be no
Mr. Mayes detailed that medical cannabis cards are only good for a year. He also said that the process to get the Illinois medical cannabis cards is very intense. He notes that it may not be worth it for low-income or highly debilitated patients.
First, applicants have to be fingerprinted. Then, they go through a federal background check. After that, they have to pay an annual fee of $100. Lastly, patients have to have the card signed by their doctor.
“For a very ill patient, this could be a mountain,” Mayes told Belleville News. For others, information about obtaining a card in Illinois can be found here.
Overall, the need for medical cannabis cards in Illinois is on the rise. It will be important for patients to carefully evaluate if it will be worth it for them to apply for one.