Legislation Allowing Medical Cannabis to Replace Opioids to be Signed Into Law by Illinois Governor

Legislation to allow those who have been or could be prescribed opioids to join the state’s medical cannabis program will be signed into law today by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Governor Rauner is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 336 today at the Chicago Recovery Alliance. Filed by Senator Don Harmon along with a bipartisan group of 47 other lawmakers, the measure was passed by the Senate in April in a 44 to 6 vote, and  in June was passed by the House of Representatives 77 to 38.

The proposed law “includes in the definition of “debilitating medical condition” any other medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care.” It “Provides that within 30 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, the Department of Public Health shall adopt emergency rules to expedite approval for individuals who submit an application as an alternative to opioid treatment.”

Senate Bill 336 also makes it so that patients will no longer need to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check when applying to use medical marijuana. In addition, those with a doctor’s recommendation who finish the application process will be granted a provisional registration, allowing them to purchase medical cannabis while the state reviews their request.

The full text of Senate Bill 336 can be found here.

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