Medical Cannabis Program in Illinois gets stronger under new laws

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Springfield, Ill. — Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation strengthening Illinois’ medical cannabis program, which provides relief to more than 80,000 patients across the state.

“This legislation brings our medical cannabis program in line with my administration’s vision for equity, and it makes adjustments for the lessons we’ve learned since its inception,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As we continue to reform state government so it better serves its families, we must do so in a way that advances dignity, empathy, opportunity, and grace.”

Senate Bill 455, will support students who are registered patients in the medical cannabis program by expanding the means of administering medical cannabis products and permitting its use at school-sponsored activities or before or after normal school activities.  

“There are many students across the state who rely on medicinal cannabis as part of their medical regimen,” said Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “Ideally, the parents of these students would provide the medications, but it’s often the case that the parents are unable to make it to the school due to other commitments. By giving school nurses the ability to administer these important medications, we can ensure that students across Illinois are getting the proper treatment they require.”

The new law will also allow nurse or school administrators to administer 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 provide 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 to develop a training curriculum for nurses and school administrators, which must be completed annually.

The bill will take effect on January 1st, 2020.

Also signed today, Senate Bill 2023 on Friday, expanding and making permanent Illinois’ medical cannabis program. The law 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 the eligibility of applicants to the program.   

“These new laws will stabilize the medical cannabis program and ensure access for patients for years to come,” said Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield). “As we legalize recreational use, I am glad our state is staying focused on providing relief to patients suffering from chronic, debilitating conditions. Patients can rest assured that they will remain a priority.”

New conditions that qualify includeautism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, and superior canal dehiscence syndrome. The 11 new conditions join the existing 41 qualifying medical conditions under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.

SB 2023 took effect last Friday, August 9th.

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