It is against the law to move cannabis seeds across state lines, therefore the very first growers of medical marijuana will have to hope officials will look the other way when getting their 1st seeds.
As Illinois prepares to launch it’s medical cannabis program, the guy with what some would say has got the unenviable job of helming that launch suggests he believes the state has tried to think about everything to make sure that fraud is driven out and therefore the medicine gets to people who truly need it.
“We’ve really considered the problems various other states have experienced,” stated Robert Morgan, the medical cannabis director for the Illinois Department of Health. “I believe already we’re starting it as one of the most regulated programs within the entire country.”
In the process, the state developed thorough specifications, which require background checks of all employees, both at growing sites along with shops and also 24-hour video monitoring of plants as they develop, with chain-of-custody specifications from the seed stage up to product delivery.
“From the moment they plant the seed, we’re going to know where the product is,” Morgan said. “The volume, we’re planning to know it to the ‘T’ of the actual clone to be able to trace back where that product originated from to the sale to the shops as well as the patients.”
Ahem. About those seeds.
You can’t carry them over state lines. A person can’t ship them simply by FedEx, UPS or even the U.S. Postal Service. A person can’t bring them in from another country. After all, marihauna is actually, still officially, an illegal drug in the eyes of the government.
Just how does Illinois deal with the matter of starting a fresh crop where the seeds can’t be introduced in to the state legitimately?
They don’t. Everyone has consented to look the other way.
“We purposely left the bill silent,” said State Representative Louis Lang, the author of the medical marijuana act. “It’s either developed illegitimately in Illinois or brought in inappropriately.”
“Admittedly, the first seed is not technically a legitimate seed,” he said. “There is no way to write this.”
It’s being called the “magic beans” circumstance. When the plants begin to thrive, they are going to supply their own seeds, before that, well, let’s simply say that somehow they will come into being.
“All the federal agencies are really looking to the states to implement it in a strong way,” Morgan stated. “But there remains tension with the federal.”
Across Illinois, the state has gotten 159 applications for cultivation centers as well as 214 for dispensaries. Officials say they expect the first licenses to be awarded prior to year’s end.