Number of medical marijuana applicants to be released Wednesday

State officials plan to release Wednesday afternoon the number of applications they received from companies that want to grow or sell medical marijuana in Illinois.

But the names of those applicants, along with other information, will not be released, said Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the state’s medical marijuana program.

Applications from prospective companies are not subject to state open records laws under the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, she said. When licenses are awarded later in the year, the names of those applicants will be released, she said.

The application period began Sept. 8 and ended Monday.

As of two weeks ago, four companies sought cultivation center sites in unincorporated Will County, but it's unclear whether any of those companies submitted state applications. Another two companies have approached the city of Joliet.

State rules allow only one growing center per state police district, so only one of the Will County proposals could go forward.

Illinois will grant up to 21 permits for cultivation centers and up to 60 permits for dispensaries.