DuPage County leads applications for medical marijuana sales
The number of applications to grow and sell medical marijuana in the suburbs varied widely as businesses compete for the rare opportunity to start selling the drug legally in Illinois.
In DuPage County, 23 potential sellers are competing for three licenses. In Kane County, 14 businesses are competing for two spots.
Applicants have a better shot in Lake County, where five of them are competing for three spots. Two applicants in McHenry County are competing for one licenses and 10 have applied for three spots in Will County.
In suburban Cook County, one license will be awarded in a district that includes Schaumburg and Elk Grove townships, and there are 12 applicants. In a Maine and Wheeling Township district, there are 6 applicants. Three applied in a district for Barrington, Palatine and Hanover Township.
The state isn't releasing further details about who the applicants are because lawmakers prohibited such disclosure in the law they approved legalizing medical marijuana. The lack of disclosure has become a campaign issue as Republican Bruce Rauner pressures Gov. Pat Quinn for a more open process.
Meanwhile, nine businesses have applied for one license to grow medical marijuana in a district that includes DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and DeKalb counties. Nine applicants have applied for two licenses to grow marijuana in Cook County.
The state will determine who wins the licenses in the coming months. After that, marijuana will be grown and dispensaries will open. People who have certain diseases and qualify to legally buy medical marijuana will likely be able to start doing so in 2015.