Approximately 1,000 patients approved for Illinois’ medical pot program

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois has now approved approximately 1,000 patients for the state’s medical marijuana program.

Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Wednesday that about 14,000 people have started the patient registration process. Of those, about 2,100 have submitted at least part of the application.

Some newly licensed growers say they’ll be ready to provide medical marijuana this summer. Gov. Bruce Rauner awarded licenses Monday to marijuana growers and retailers across the state.

Qualifying patients pay an annual fee of $100 for a marijuana card. Patients aren’t allowed to grow their own cannabis and must buy it from a state-licensed retail shop.

ArcView Market Research, a California consulting company, is telling investors the Illinois market could eventually expand to $36 million in 2016.