As Illinois waits for Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision on the medical marijuana bill, many citizens and Illinois medical marijuana patients are wondering how they will be affected if he signs it into law.
Before the bill was put on Gov. Quinn’s desk, the Illinois Senate approved legalization of medical marijuana, 31-25. If the bill becomes law, Illinois will join more than 20 states allowing medical marijuana.
The bill would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis to use medical marijuana upon a doctor’s recommendation.
Senate sponsor William Haine, D-Alton, says the bill would have some of the toughest restrictions on medical marijuana in the country. He hopes the strict requirements would prevent medical marijuana in Illinois from people who don’t really need it and who may be looking to profit from it.
Qualified patients would be able to obtain medical marijuana from one of up to 60 Illinois dispensaries, which would acquire marijuana from up to 22 Illinois cultivation centers. For those looking to obtain an Illinois dispensary permits or open an Illinois cultivation center, consulting companies like DispensaryPermits.com have been offering complimentary consultations on their website.
DispensaryPermits.com and their team of medical marijuana experts have put together an Illinois medical marijuana dispensary license package that includes custom business for opening up an Illinois medical marijuana dispensary.
The Illinois Department of Public Health would be responsible for developing and maintaining a registry of users and caregivers, distributing educational materials about the risk associated with abuse of medical marijuana and other drugs, and developing rules for the consumption of marijuana-based food products.
The Department of Agriculture would oversee the registration of Illinois cultivation centers throughout the state. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would help regulate the cultivation, acquisition and distribution of medical marijuana in Illinois.
The four-year pilot program must be renewed by the General Assembly as if it were a new bill. This would allow adjustments and assessment of the 4-year pilot program.
As approved by the General Assembly, the bill would restrict use of medical marijuana in places such as correctional facilities, private residences used for child care, motor vehicles, preschools, primary or secondary schools and places where smoking is prohibited.
Those permitted to use medical marijuana in Illinois would be limited to 2.5 ounces for a 14-day period. If more is needed they would need permission from the Department of Public Health.
Patients with approval for medical marijuana would not be subject to searches as long as they can provide the necessary identification and are not under the influence while performing work-related activities.
Registered users will not be subject to search by the police when in public as long as their medical marijuana is kept in a closed container.
Physicians who plan to prescribe medical marijuana must be licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987 and hold a controlled substance license under Act 3 of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act.
In addition no school, employee or landlord may discriminate against a patient registered for medical marijuana.