Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., (IRN) – With medical cannabis supposedly two months away from being available in Illinois, more people are applying for medical marijuana cards.

The number of applications has increased by 40 percent since March, and the number of approval letters sent out has jumped up 75 percent, according to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Besha Brewer, executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, thinks patients who had been holding off on applying are now jumping in to make sure they receive medicine when it’s available in the fall.

“The patient numbers have increased as a result of the cultivation centers receiving approval to grow,” Brewer said. “Patients have talked with their physicians and they recognize the impact that medical cannabis can have in the treatment of various conditions.”

Brewer guesses applications will keep rolling in, especially if IDPH adds several conditions to what can qualify someone for medical cannabis. Several, including post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome, were recommended for addition by an advisory board, and the IDPH director has until the end of the month to make a decision.

Brewer estimates the earliest any marijuana will be available to patients is in October.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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