As another sign of his pledge to make marijuana accessible to Illinois residents, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed two more bills on Monday expanding the medical marijuana program of the state. He stated that the signing ceremony was a message to all medical marijuana users in the state that the state government was on their side.
Senate Bill 2023 was intended to make the medical marijuana program permanent in Illinois. Under the law which legalized medical marijuana back in 2013, the program was transitional and had been given a lifespan of four years.
This particular bill also added 11 conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for which patients can get a recommendation from a doctor to use medical marijuana. The additional conditions include migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, polycystic kidney disease and several other conditions.
Starting in January next year, patients on the medical marijuana program will also be allowed to grow a maximum of five cannabis plants. These plants should be in locked areas that are far from public view.
As soon as Senate Bill 2023 was signed, physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners were allowed to start certifying patients who wished to enroll on the medical marijuana program.
Senate Bill 455 was also signed on Monday. Under this law, kids who are registered to use medical cannabis can now starting getting their treatment on school premises as long as the administration of the medical marijuana is supervised by a member of staff at the school.
The bill also emphasizes that no one who hasn’t attained the age of 21 will be allowed to legally buy marijuana that can be smoked.
The medical marijuana program has seen many modifications from the original program of 2013 which was variously described as too restrictive. For example, under that law, patients had to get a written recommendation from a doctor before being certified to use medical marijuana and they could only buy 2.5 ounces every fortnight. The patients also had to make a pledge that they would never use medical marijuana in the presence of kids or in public. The number of qualifying conditions was also smaller, but most of these restrictions have gradually been eased.
Additionally, the state instituted an Opioid Alternative Pilot Program in February. Under this program, Illinois residents who have opioid abuse problems can have an accelerated path to temporary access to medical cannabis.
As the country counts down to next year when recreational marijuana will become available to residents, experts believe that marijuana industry participants like Golden Developing Solutions Inc. (OTC: DVLP) and Grapefruit Boulevard Investments Inc. (OTCQB: IGNG) are pleased by the progressive way in which matters of the cannabis industry are being handled in Illinois.
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