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Legislative Panel OKs Rules For Medical Marijuana

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A budtender handles marijuana at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in operation since 2006, on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A budtender handles marijuana at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in operation since 2006, on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (AP) – Rules for Illinois’ new medical cannabis program have been approved by a legislative committee, bringing legal marijuana one step closer to reality for qualifying patients.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved the regulations at a meeting Tuesday in Chicago.

A law enacted last year authorized a four-year pilot project that will expire in 2017. So far, not a single marijuana seed has been planted. But now that rules have been approved, the state agencies running the program can start posting applications for a limited number of grower and retailer permits.

The Marijuana Policy Project estimates more than 10,000 patients could eventually sign up in Illinois.

The rules approved Tuesday will now be filed with the Secretary of State and published in the Illinois Register.

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