Illinois medical marijuana patients now number 4,400

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is continuing to approve patients to use medical marijuana, with about 400 more approval letters sent in January. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it has approved 4,400 patients for the pilot program. That includes 32 children. The pace of approvals is about the same as December. Marijuana industry players are watching the numbers closely as they push for more outreach to doctors, who have been reluctant to approve patients. Qualifying patients pay an annual fee of $100 for a marijuana card and need a doctor’s written certification. The health department says about 5,700 people have submitted complete applications, including those approved, those pending and 635 denials. A report with county-by-county figures and other data was posted Wednesday on the department’s website.