The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that it won’t add new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program at this time, a big blow to cannabis businesses that were hoping officials would help expand the market for MMJ.
The decision comes after a state panel recently recommended adding 11 new conditions – including post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome – to the list of qualifying ailments for medical cannabis.
Illinois does allow MMJ use for 39 conditions, but most of them only affect a small sliver of the state’s population.
The news raises more questions about the long-term viability of the state’s emerging cannabis industry. As of late August, only about 2,800 patients had registered for MMJ, which isn’t nearly enough to sustain the 60 dispensaries and 21 cultivators the state is slated to license.