Illinois Lawmakers Promise Patients Priority Access In Adult-Use Market

Illinois lawmakers promised that patients will be given priority access to state-legal cannabis products once the legal market comes online; the notice was made in anticipation of product shortages immediately following legalization.

Full story after the jump.

In a letter published Monday, a group of Illinois lawmakers says there will be “an initial, and hopefully short-lived shortage” of cannabis when adult-use sales begin, as the legalization bill passed last year includes language giving patients “priority access.”

“Each state that has implemented an adult-use cannabis program has had issues related to supply shortages. As legislators, we crafted the CRTA and the MCPA to have specific language to prioritize patient access – something no other state has done. We know there will still be challenges, but are committed to putting patients first as the adult-use program begins.” — Illinois lawmakers in a Dec. 16 letter

The lawmakers, from both chambers of the legislature, indicated that both patients and caregivers in the state “raised concerns” about a potential supply shortage once the recreational market launches and they “have confidence” that the governor’s administration takes the matters “as seriously” as the letter’s authors.

“There should be no doubt that medical cannabis patients will be prioritized once CRTA becomes effective in January,” the letter says. “CRTA provides medical cannabis patients priority sales in the event of any product shortages, and also guarantees medical cannabis dispensaries shall continue to provide the same variety and quantity of product as they did on July 1, 2019.”

Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), told the Chicago Sun-Times that officials are actively monitoring supply, and that regulators can penalize “bad actors,” including revoking dispensary and cultivation licenses held by those who violate the law.

Adult-use sales in Illinois are set to commence on January 1.

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