AP PHOTOS: Harvest of medical marijuana begins in Illinois

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AP PHOTOS: Harvest of medical marijuana begins in Illinois
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, Jack Campbell, left, who heads the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Medicinal Plants works with Ataraxia's chief compliance officer Ross Morreale, right, on the final inspection of the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Ataraxia is the first center to make it to the finish line after running a gantlet of state requirements. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals called trichomes, are nearly ready for harvest in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Trichomes contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals called trichomes, are nearly ready for harvest in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Marijuana strains with names like Blue Dream, OG Kush, Death Star and White Poison are now being cut and dried, and by mid-October, will be turned into medicine in many forms like oils, creams, buds for smoking, edible chocolates and gummies. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, Ataraxia's inventory manager Anthony Marsico inspects the "Vegetative Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Marijuana strains are now being cut and dried, and by mid-October, will be turned into medicine in many forms like oils, creams, buds for smoking, edible chocolates and gummies. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center stand alone surrounded by cornfields ready to be harvested in Albion, Ill. Marijuana strains with names like Blue Dream, OG Kush, Death Star and White Poison are now being cut and dried, and by mid-October, will be turned into medicine in many forms like oils, creams, buds for smoking, edible chocolates and gummies. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Monday, Sept. 14, 2015 photo, Cheryl Taylor, who sells T-shirts which say the town is "High and Dry" from her shop on the square, says the marijuana facility has everyone excitedly curious in Albion, Ill. In Albion, stores can't sell package liquor, but marijuana has been welcomed as a badly needed source of jobs. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Illinois regulations bar pesticides once the plants have flowered, so Ataraxia grows garlic, a natural pest repellent, alongside the cannabis in the flower room. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, shops on the town square open for business in Albion, Ill. In Albion, stores can't sell package liquor, but marijuana has been welcomed as a badly needed source of jobs. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, shops on the town square open for business in Albion, Ill. In Albion, stores can't sell package liquor, but marijuana has been welcomed as a badly needed source of jobs. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Illinois regulations bar pesticides once the plants have flowered, so Ataraxia grows garlic, a natural pest repellent, alongside the cannabis in the flower room. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, marijuana clones are monitored inside the "Vegetative Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. After the plants take root, they are potted and moved into this room where they'll spend about two months under lights for 18 hours a day. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, Joseph Pierro, left, and Lenny Ganshirt, right, pose for a photo at the company in Albion, Ill. They are using their culinary degrees as Ataraxia's extraction chefs to create recipes for cannabis edibles which the company will distribute to dispensaries. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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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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