Illinois prepares to implement medical cannabis pilot program. Years of negotiations between the Illinois Department of Public Health, State Police, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture have resulted in a nearly 20,000-word Illinois medical cannabis bill. The scope is small when you compare it to most medical cannabis states. Bill SB2636, requires patients be to have a diagnosis of at least one of 37 conditions. While glaucoma and PTSD did not make the list, AIDS, nail-patella syndrome and Tourette’s did.
The medical cannabis law will allow patients to petition the DOPH to include other conditions. After filing through a public hearing process, there is a requirement for the DOPH to rule on new conditions within 180 days. Patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every 14 days. If patients want more they is a requirement to have their doctor request it, prompting a review process by the DOPH.
Patients and workers participating in the medical cannabis program will have to submit fingerprints to the DOPH. Fingerprints will then be sent to the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for a criminal background check. Convicted felons will not be eligible to participate in the medical cannabis program in any way. Veterans using VA facilities seeking a recommendation must prove a professional relationship with their physician consistent with VA protocol.
Dispensary and cultivation center applicants receive grades on a point system. The requirement for applicants for cultivation center licenses is to estimate the amount of waste they will generate annually. And to provide detailed plans for pesticide storage. They will not allow medical cannabis businesses who register to operate within 2500 feet of a school or daycare facility. 60 state-licensed dispensaries and 21 cultivation centers will serve Illinois’ population of 12.8 million.
By John Veit