Illinois Governor Signs Bill Expanding Medical Marijuana Program

On Monday Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed two measure that expands the state’s medical-marijuana program while cementing it into law.

The measures signed by Governor Pritzker not only adds additional ways in which patients can access medical cannabis and adds 11 new qualifying medical conditions, but it makes the state’s medical marijuana program – which up until this point has been a pilot program – a permanent fixture of the law.

“We’re telling each and every one of those patients, we’re on your side,” Pritzker said during a press conference. The legislation adds chronic pain, autism, anorexia nervosa, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, polycystic kidney disease, and osteoarthritis as new medical marijuana conditions.

According to High Times, “The new legislation also guarantees the right of patients to be able to have a home grow operation of up to five plants as of January of next year. Under current provisions, the cannabis plants must be out of public view, and in a locked area. Effective immediately, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants will be able to certify patients for inclusion in the program.”

The two measures signed into law are Senate Bill 2023 and Senate Bill 455. The latter makes it so that minors who are medical marijuana patients are able to legally consume their medicine on school grounds.

Medical marijuana became legal in Illinois when then-Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a medical marijuana pilot program which took effect in 2013. The program was renewed and expanded upon over the next few years and is now permanent.

“We are ensuring only those suffering from the most serious diseases receive this treatment,” said the bill’s sponsor, state senator Bill Haine at the time. “This law takes additional steps to prevent fraud and abuse.”

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