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Harvest of Medical Marijuana Begins in Illinois

ALBION, Ill. (AP) — It’s harvest time in southeastern Illinois. And in one city, that means not just corn, but medical marijuana.

The Associated Press recently gained an exclusive look at Illinois’ first legal marijuana crop, and the new farmland ritual beginning amid the cornfields surrounding the historic town of Albion.

Illinois is among 23 states that allow marijuana for at least medicinal purposes. The state’s restrictive law doesn’t allow people to grow their own, only state-approved cultivation centers with rigid security systems.

A company called Ataraxia is harvesting medical marijuana that will soon be sold in dispensaries around the state. It’s the first center to make it to the finish line after running a gantlet of state requirements.

Inside the locked warehouse, the life cycle starts in the “mother room,” where plants provide a source for cuttings. The final stage before harvest is the “flower room,” where full-size plants are covered with fibers called trichomes, which contain the drug’s active ingredients, THC and CBD.

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Emily Cegielski
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