Latest Illinois Cannabis News: Medical Marijuana and More
Latest Illinois Marijuana News: Medical Cannabis and More
On May 31st, 2019, Illinois made a crucial step toward cannabis legalization in the state of Illinois.
General Assembly has passed a marijuana legalization law. It will permit adult recreational use of cannabis and put an end to the era of prohibition. Governor Pritzker has indicated he will sign the landmark bill, which will then enter force in 2020.
This is just the latest in a series of cannabis news in Illinois, including advancements in the Illinois medical marijuana program.
The Illinois Legislature previously passed temporary law for the use of medical marijuana. It was the twentieth (20th) state to do so, in January 2014. The result was the statewide registry and distribution program for patients.
However, there is a set of strict limitations to who can consume, where, and in what amount.
In fact, the Illinois legislation is one of the most restrictive in the United States. Patients must receive doctor recommendations and register with the state. Growing or possessing weed for recreational purposes is still illegal.
Green Lights Are On
After long years of legal exile, marijuana is entering the lawful mainstream.
Cannabis legalization is in full swing across the U.S. In Illinois, the changes are more noticeable than in some other states. Its regulative climate has been changing rapidly in recent years.
It all started with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program in 2014. The main propose of the Act was to provide safe access to medical products for patients.
Several important amendments soon followed. One granted access to the program for children under 18. Others focused on broadening the list of medical conditions.
And that’s just the beginning, as a stream of medical marijuana news from Illinois continued to come into the program and allow the state to learn more from the patients themselves.
In August 2018, the program was substantially expanded. Since then, it supports opioid painkiller replacement therapies. This is poised to bring thousands of new patients into the program, which already serves more than 40,000.
The next historic milestone was reached on May 31. Illinois General Assembly Passed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. It will make marijuana legal for recreational use starting January 1, 2020.
This means Illinois will join the ranks of California, Vermont, Colorado, and Michigan. Illinoisans will be able to purchase and possess up to 30 grams. Productions and sales will be regulated as well under separate recreation or adult use regulations set by the State of Illinois.
In the meantime, decriminalization makes things easier for users.
When it comes to recreational use, a personal amount of weed is 10 grams or less. Reduced penalties are in place here and possession only invokes citation.
In all intended cases, state law takes precedence over local regulation.
More Medical Marijuana News Illinois
The aforementioned Pilot Program remains the legal benchmark for medical users.
Essentially, it takes a tightly controlled approach to medical marijuana use. Namely, consumption is linked to special circumstances and conditions.
In order to qualify for medical marijuana, a patient must have a registry identification card. This document has to be renewed every three years and only licensed physicians can issue it.
The main prerequisite for obtaining a card is a debilitating medical condition.
The list of these conditions is long and includes over 40. They range from cancer to seizures and PTSD. The Department of Health has the authority to add ne