Mikhail Meleyev—Getty Images/EyeEm
By Justin Worland
November 9, 2015

Medical marijuana is to be sold legally in Illinois from Monday under a tightly regulated pilot program.

Eight dispensaries across the state have been authorized to sell marijuana products to a small group of 3,300 qualifying patients, including 20 patients under the age of 18. More than 25,000 people have begun the application process, according to a program report.

The legalization of marijuana in Illinois adds to a patchwork of laws across the country regarding marijuana. Medical marijuana legalization has become a middle ground in recent years between places that ban the substance altogether and jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis use.

Legislators intended the Illinois program to be stricter than those of other states, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Patients are required to undergo criminal background checks and submit to fingerprinting in addition to receiving the consent of a doctor.

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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