ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Legislation signed on Friday, August 9 and Monday, August 12 would strengthen Illinois’ medical cannabis program.
On Friday, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2023, expanding and making permanent Illinois’ medical cannabis program.
According to a release from the governor’s office, it eliminates the sunset provision to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, adds 11 new conditions for eligibility purposes and expands the range of medical professionals who can certify eligibility of applicants to the program.
Medical conditions that now qualify include: autism, chronic pain, irritable bowl syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.
That is in addition to the existing 41 qualifying medical conditions under the Act.
Instead of only physicians, advance practice nurses and physician assistants can now join physicians in diagnosing and certifying someone’s eligibility for the medical cannabis program.
Other changes include: the law requires IDFPR to award dispensary licenses using a competitive application review system similar to that proposed in the adult-use legislation, including awarding points for participants who qualify as social equity applicants.
It also prevents patient referrals to other health care professionals solely for certification, prohibits the use and sale of smokable cannabis to persons under the age of 21 to align the program with the recently passed Tobacco 21 legislation and repeals location restrictions for medical cannabis dispensaries starting on July 1.
Every county, instead of just Cook County, will have the ability to establish a 3% tax on the gross receipts of sales.
The bill took effect on Friday, Aug. 9.
On Monday, the governor signed Senate Bill 445, which supports students who are registered patients in the medical cannabis program by expanding the means of administering medical cannabis products and permitting it use at school-sponsored activities or before or after normal school activities.
According to a release from the governor’s office, the new law allows a nurse or school administrator to give medical cannabis products and allows students to self-administer under the direct supervision of a school nurse or school administrator.
A student’s parent or guardian must give written authorization and provide a copy of the registry identification card of the student and parent or guardian.
The Illinois State Board of Education and Department of Public Health will develop training for nurses and school administrators, which must be completed annually.
Senate Bill 455 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.