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Illinois: First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

IllinoisDispensariesOpen[Leafly]

Illinois’ first medical marijuana dispensaries have opened across the state, with five opening on Monday, including locations in Addison, Canton, Marion, Mundelein, and Quincy.

So far, a total of eight shops are approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health with seven more dispensaries expected to open later this month, bringing the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Illinois to 15. In order to be protected under state law, Illinois patients must obtain their medical marijuana from one of these licensed dispensaries.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting to have access to this medicine,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We are grateful they will no longer have to put themselves at risk by purchasing it in an underground market.” Under the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), patients must register and select one designated dispensary as their source of medicine. According to the Department of Public Health, 3,300 patients have registered for the medical cannabis identification cards.

“The dispensary openings mark the most significant milestone since the pilot program began nearly two and half years ago,” said Lindsey. “A limited number of patients with certain conditions will now be able to legally access medical marijuana. We hope the state can see that a program like this works and we can finally relieve the suffering of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.”

Iowa: Rodeo Clown Convicted For Growing Marijuana; Faces 20 Years In Prison

Photo by Dan Williamson, Iowa Press-CitizenBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Iowa man who worked as a rodeo clown in local and national rodeos faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison after being convicted Friday of conspiracy to "manufacture marijuana."

Federal prosecutors claim Rory Meeks, 55, of Marion, Iowa, planted cannabis along corn and soybean fields in rural areas of Jones County, tending the plants all summer, reports the Iowa Press-Citizen.

Authorities claim Meeks and others harvested and dried the plants each fall, then sold the marijuana for several years in a row.

Jurors found Meeks guilty, after a three-day trial, of growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants between 2004 and 2011. He had been acquitted of one count of manufacturing marijuana in April 2011.

Meeks performed as a clown for prominent Iowa City-area charities. He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20 million fine, and at least 10 years of supervised release following imprisonment.

(Photo of Rory Meeks by Dan Williamson, Iowa Press-Citizen)

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