Illinois Officials to Allow Medical Marijuana Businesses to Extend Hours

State regulators in Illinois announced last week that medical marijuana dispensaries would be permitted to extend their business hours, following complaints that patients are at a disadvantage since legal recreational cannabis sales began this year. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) also issued guidance on prioritizing the needs of medical marijuana patients to dispensaries with licenses to sell cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

When the state’s medical marijuana program was authorized in 2013, cannabis dispensaries were limited by Illinois law to operate between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. However, under adult-use cannabis laws that went into effect on January 1, recreational marijuana dispensaries are permitted to remain open until 10 p.m. IDFPR Secretary Deborah Hagan said in a release on Friday that the discrepancy was being eliminated in the interest of serving patients’ needs.

“Serving medical cannabis patients continues to be at the heart of our cannabis regulation,” said Hagan. “Our Department will continue working to ensure patients receive the level of service they have come to expect from our medical cannabis program.”

Regulators Issue Guidance to Dispensaries

In a separate notice released on Thursday, IDFPR regulators issued guidance to businesses selling

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