medical marijuana

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law requiring public schools to allow parents to administer medical marijuana at school to eligible children.

 

The Republican took action Wednesday. It allows parents or guardians to administer a "cannabis-infused product" to a student on school property or a school bus if both parent and child have been cleared by the state's medical marijuana law.

Flickr User Mark / (CC x 2.0)

The Illinois General Assembly approved a measure allowing parents to give their kids medical marijuana at school.

It’s named after Ashley Surin, an 11-year-old girl who suffers from severe epilepsy. Her doctor prescribed her patches with a small amount of cannabis oil on them, which her parents say has been a “golden cure.”

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

A proposal to allow the temporary use of cannabis instead of opioids for pain management was approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday.

flickr/dankdepot

Illinois medical marijuana companies may have to deal in cash because the main bank serving them is withdrawing from the industry.

The Bank of Springfield informed cannabis clients last month it would close their accounts May 21, according to the Chicago Tribune.

RICK PROCTOR / UNSPLASH

Lawmakers see chance for green with recreational marijuana.

Marijuana legalization is getting another look in Illinois, particularly for the money it could bring the state. The state has overdue bills nearing $9 billion after a more than two-year budget stalemate, and some argue a little extra cash could go a long way.

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Kids who use medical marijuana for a qualifying condition might be allowed to use the drug on school grounds under a new proposal. The legislation would allow parents to give cannabis medication to those kids if and when they need it. 

Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, said about 250 kids around the state use cannabis-oil patches to treat a range of conditions from epilepsy to cancer. Although medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2013, Lang said the drug is still banned in schools no matter what.

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are considering medical cannabis as a solution.

State of Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health has appealed a decision adding severe pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

The paperwork filed Thursday in Cook County comes weeks after a judge ordered “intractable pain,'' or severe and constant pain with no cure, be added to over 40 qualifying medical conditions.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit from 58-year-old Ann Mednick of Rolling Meadows. She argues medical marijuana would help treat pain related to osteoarthritis without her having to use opioids for treatment. 

A judge has ordered the state of Illinois to expand the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use to include intractable pain.

The order issued Tuesday by Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Mitchell seeks to overturn a decision by the Illinois Department of Public Health rejecting pain that's resistant to treatment as a qualifier for medical marijuana use. Director Dr. Nirav Shah last year cited a “lack of high-quality data'' as a reason for denying a recommendation by the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board for the decision.

flickr/dankdepot

The Illinois attorney general's office has told a federal court it will allow a suburban Chicago school district to administer medical marijuana to an 11-year-old leukemia patient to treat her for seizure disorders.

The commitment made to Judge John Blakey on Friday came two days after the student's parents sued Schaumburg-based District 54 and the state for the girl's right to take medical marijuana at school. Illinois' medical cannabis law prohibits possessing or using marijuana on school grounds or buses.

JENNIFER BRDLIK

The parents of a suburban Chicago elementary school student are suing School District 54 in Schaumburg and the state of Illinois for the right to use medical marijuana at school.

The Chicago Tribune reports plaintiffs of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, who are identified by initials, contend the state's ban on taking the drug at school is unconstitutional. They say it denies the right to due process and violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

JENNIFER BRDLIK

Illinois could see changes this year that expand access to medical marijuana, as operators say the number of patients allowed to buy the drug is too low to recoup investments.

The Chicago Tribune reports that retail sales of medical cannabis in Illinois only topped about $9.3 million last month. Revolution Enterprises CEO Mark de Souza says his two marijuana cultivation facilities in the state are operating at less than 30 percent capacity.

Medical marijuana is still new to Illinois, but some lawmakers are taking a look at expanding its use to help stem the opioid epidemic.

State senators heard from recovering opioid addicts on how marijuana has helped them manage chronic pain from injuries. Ingalore Wood of Auburn said opiates made her angry and reluctant to leave the house. Then she switched to medical marijuana.

flickr user Brett Levin "LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow" (CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/1F0o4DW

Illinois' medical marijuana companies, operating in an industry abounding with rules, now have one less regulation they have to follow.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a federal judge ruled last week that a provision preventing cannabis companies from making campaign contributions in Illinois wasn't constitutional. The ruling was in response to a 2015 lawsuit filed by two Libertarian Party candidates who sought contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

mikefrerichs.com

  Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says he’s frustrated with the Trump Administration’s lack of transparency on medical marijuana.

 

The Champaign Democrat says he’s written the president twice since US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the drug ‘dangerous.’ However, the AG didn't clarify if he was referring to medicinal or recreational use of cannabis.

 

 

The DeKalb City Council approved a rezoning request for a medical cannabis dispensary. 

Chicago-Based Justice Grown wants to open the facility at 650 Peace Road.  However, it now requires a license from the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.  This is permitted by the state's medical cannabis pilot program, which was approved in 2013.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs wants the Trump administration to help protect the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Federal law currently forbids banks from processing money used for cannabis transactions.  This makes it difficult for these businesses to get loans and pushes customers to pay only with cash. 

The Obama administration said prosecuting banks for these violations wasn't a priority, and Frerichs wants the same assurances from Trump.  

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are circulating a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

The proposal by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Chris Taylor comes after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he would be open to the idea.

Republicans have typically been against any attempts to legalize marijuana.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is against medical marijuana. And Gov. Scott Walker also says he opposes it.

Illinois is one year into its four-year medical marijuana pilot project, and doctors' opinions are divided.  

Doctors' trade group, the Illinois State Medical Society, has no official stance on pot's medical benefits, or lack thereof. However, the Society's current president, Dr. Thomas Anderson, says the membership is split. 

"Because we have doctors within the organization who feel like it is a value drug in certain settings, we have doctors in the organization who feel like it's a useless substance that doesn't even belong on the shelf with other medications."

Next week brings the anniversary of legal medical marijuana sales in Illinois and the program is growing steadily. Patients with state approval to buy marijuana now number about 12,000.

The state released new monthly figures Wednesday. Retailers sold $4.1 million in marijuana products during October, marking another month of increasing sales.

Last month's figures bring the total retail sales in Illinois to $28 million since purchasing began Nov. 9, 2015.

The number of dispensaries continues to grow, too, with 46 now licensed to sell medical marijuana.

WNIJ

A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program.

The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

HCI Alternatives CEO Chris Stone says it's not just about promoting the product he sells. He says it's about moving away from pain killers with adverse side effects.

Illinois patients legally purchased $2.9 million worth of medical marijuana products in July.

State officials with the medical cannabis pilot program released the figures Wednesday. June sales had been $2.57 million.

Sales have climbed steadily since purchasing began Nov. 9.

Illinois now has nearly 8,891 qualified medical marijuana patients and 40 registered dispensaries.

July's figures bring the total retail sales of marijuana in Illinois to $16.3 million.

WUIS

  A Cook County judge is ordering the state of Illinois to reconsider adding irritable bowel syndrome to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana.

A judge has ordered Illinois health officials to reconsider their decision not to include migraine headaches on the list of conditions that qualify for use of medical marijuana in the state.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a Cook County judge overturned Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah's denial of a petition to add migraines to the list.

The court ruling was in response to a suit filed by an unidentified man who has already been using marijuana to treat his headaches.

The Illinois medical marijuana industry saw $2.57 million in retail sales during June, a sign of continuing steady growth of the retail market.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture released the figures Thursday.

May sales had been nearly $2.3 Illinois now has nearly 7,600 qualified medical marijuana patients and 39 registered dispensaries.

June's figures bring the total retail sales of marijuana in Illinois to $13.8 million since purchasing began Nov. 9.

First Medical Marijuana Clinic In Sauk Valley Opens

Jul 8, 2016
flickr/dankdepot

  Fulton will become the home of the Sauk Valley’s first medical marijuana dispensary.  

Saukvalley.com reports the facility is located on 16th Avenue of the Whiteside County city and will serve about 150 regional residents with permits for prescription cannabis. 

Currently, Illinois patients are eligible for a medical marijuana permit if they have one of 39 conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  About 7,900 people statewide have such permits.  

Governor Bruce Rauner signed Illinois Senate Bill 10 on Thursday.

It now gives post-traumatic stress disorder patients access to medical marijuana and extends the state’s pilot program until July 2020.

It also opens the program to those with a terminal illness with a diagnosis of six months or less.

And it will regulate how doctors approve patients for other debilitating medical conditions.

Judge Orders Illinois To Add PTSD To Medical Marijuana List

Jun 29, 2016

A Cook County judge has ordered Illinois to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment in a case filed by a military veteran.

Judge Neil Cohen on Tuesday ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days.

The sternly worded ruling says Director Nirav Shah "engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view" that was "constitutionally inappropriate."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner says the Illinois medical marijuana program's director has resigned.

Spokeswoman Catherine Kelly tells The Associated Press the administration has accepted the resignation of Joseph Wright, who was in the position for just over one year. She says the governor's office "will have no further comment."

Wright will be replaced by Jack Campbell, the program's bureau chief in the Department of Agriculture.

Medical marijuana retail shops in Illinois saw a slight increase in sales in May compared to the previous month.

Program director Joseph Wright says registered dispensaries sold nearly $2.3 million worth of marijuana in May to more than 5,100 patients. April sales were $2.2 million.

May's figures bring the total retail sales of marijuana in Illinois to $10.8 million since purchasing began Nov. 9, topping the $10 million mark for the first time.

Illinois now has 37 registered dispensaries and about 7,000 qualified patients.

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