State

State agencies propose rules for pot dispensaries

CHICAGO – Three state agencies on Friday released proposed regulations for Illinois' pilot medical marijuana program.

The departments of Revenue, Agriculture and Financial and Professional Regulation posted draft rules online to address how dispensaries and cultivation centers will be regulated and taxed. Public comments will be taken until Feb. 27.

The proposed regulations include a nonrefundable application fee of $25,000 for those seeking to operate a marijuana cultivation center. Local governments will also be allowed to charge dispensary and center fees. The state would charge a $100,000 annual renewal permit fee under the proposed rules. No single person or entity would be allowed to have more than three cultivation center permits.

Cultivation center applicants will have to undergo background checks by the Illinois State Police before they will be allowed to operate a center. Board members and agents of the center will also have to undergo background checks.

The proposed rules would require cultivators to store cannabis and cannabis-infused products in secure, limited-access areas on the centers' premises and keep track of the inventory. There also would be provisions on how the cultivation centers package and label marijuana, which would include requiring child-proof containers.

The rules would also say that 21 of the 60 dispensaries required under the law would be outside of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Illinois legalized medical marijuana in a four-year pilot project. The Department of Public Health has issued proposed regulations that would require medical marijuana patients to be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 a year to get a special photo identification.

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Online: http://mcpp.illinois.gov

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