Bill Wilson is greatly relieved that Illinois has finally launched its program to allow dispensaries to sell marijuana for medical purposes.

Wilson suffers from bulging discs and arthritis of the spine. "I've never smoked pot in my life, [but] taking pills all the time, it's eating up my stomach. It's terrible," Wilson told FOX News in Chicago.

Beginning today, eight dispensaries will be licensed to sell products, with the program expanding to 60 by the end of the year.

It's part of the state's four-year Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, which was launched in 2013. To qualify, patients must get a note from a doctor which says they have one of 40 approved conditions. They also must submit finger prints and undergo criminal record checks, stipulations that have been harshly criticized by cannabis advocates.

Here's the FOX News report on today's developments:

h/t Chicago Tribune, FOX News Chicago