Financial requirements in Illinois medical marijuana draft rules seen as prohibitive

People interested in getting into the medical marijuana business in Illinois say the proposed financial requirements are discouraging, if not prohibitive.

Nick Williams is a partner in a new company founded by owners of a Bloomington-based eyeglasses chain. They plan to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license, using their experience running 22 eyeglasses dispensaries in three states.

But Williams says he's worried that the financial requirements for growers may drive up prices. The state's new law allows only licensed cultivation centers to grow medical marijuana and patients wouldn't be allowed to grow their own.

Proposed rules require growers to pay $225,000 in first-year fees, have $500,000 on hand and obtain a $2 million escrow account or surety bond.

The public has 45 days to comment on the draft rules.