Illinois

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Panel Suggests 12 Health Conditions; Criticizes Governor

BruceRaunerIllinoisGovernor[MarijuanaPolicyProject].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Doctors, nurses and patients on a state panel that recommends whether to expand Illinois' medical marijuana test program on Monday suggested 12 additional health conditions for inclusion, and complained that their suggestions are routinely ignored by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

A doctor who leads the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board said she isn't optimistic about the chances of expanding the program based on previous decisions by the Rauner Administration, reports Celeste Bott at the Chicago Tribune.

Board Chair Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple said the advisory board is moving forward anyway. The board met on Monday in Springfield, and suggested that 10 previously recommended ailments receive approval, as well as two new ones, Type 1 diabetes and panic disorder.

Currently, 39 conditions and diseases can qualify patients to use medicinal cannabis in Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law allows people to suggest new diseses for the program twice a year.

Some at the hearing celebrated the diabetes recommendation, but board member and pediatrician Dr. Nestor Ramirez cautioned them to "wait for what the governor says."

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Board Complains About Governor's Rejections

indoor grow.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Members of an Illinois state panel that recommends whether to expand the state's medical marijuana program complained Monday that Gov. Bruce Rauner has routinely ignored their suggestions.

The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board suggested that 10 previously recommended ailments receive approval, as well two new ones: Type 1 diabetes and panic disorder.

As some at a hearing celebrated the diabetes recommendation, board member and pediatrician Dr. Nestor Ramirez cautioned the crowd to "wait for what the governor says."

Rauner's Illinois Department of Public Health has rejected the board's past recommendations. The governor inherited the medical marijuana program, and has been reluctant to broaden access, instead calling for further study of the drug's benefits and risks.

Farah Zala Morales, who works at a medical marijuana dispensary, spoke on behalf of her 12-year-old daughter, Mira, who has Type 1 diabetes. Morales said the drug helped ease her daughter's discomfort and stabilize her blood sugar so she didn't have to inject herself with insulin as often and could maintain good grades and play sports.

Illinois: Senate Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois weed.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Illinois Senate voted Tuesday 40 to 14 in favor of a bill that would decriminalize simple possession of marijuana, replacing a punishment of jail time with a small fine.

“We need to replace Illinois’s current patchwork of marijuana possession laws with a consistent standard that will be applied fairly across the state,” Senator Heather Steans, the bill’s primary sponsor, told HIGH TIMES in an e-mailed statement. “People should not be sent to jail for an offense that would have been punishable by a small fine if it had occurred a few miles down the road. It’s irrational, it’s unpredictable, and it’s unjust.”

Senate Bill 2228 introduces legislation that will impose a fine of $100-$200 on anyone caught with 10 grams of marijuana or less.Currently, any person caught with 10 grams of pot can be arrested and charged with a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.

In addition, the bill comes with a provision that eliminates the state's zero-tolerance policy for stoned driving. Under current law, a person is at risk of getting a DUI for any amount of THC in the blood, even if it is residual from use days before.

The new bill establishes a legal limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms of THC in saliva.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Program In Danger Of Failure

IllinoisMedicalMarijuana[RebootIllinois]

By Steve Elliott

Strict rules governing which patients qualify for the Illinois medical marijuana program, seen by some as the most restrictive such program in the nation, mean a low number of approved patients, and this could force some medicinal cannabis businesses to close just as the program is starting to get underway.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has approved only a small amount of illnesses meeting the requirements for using medical marijuana in the state, reports Debra Borchardt at Forbes. Despite the fact that the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board for the program had recommended that 11 additional conditions be added to the list, in September the IDPH refused to expand the list.

The advisory board came back in October with a list of eight conditions; if the new list is approved, it would lead to a much larger number of patients, and would ensure the success of the medical marijuana program and the viability of the businesses. Several chronic pain conditions, osteoarthritis, autism, irritable bowel syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are on the latest list the board has recommended.

Illinois: Change.org Petition Lauched To Add Conditions To Medical Marijuana Law

IllinoisMedicalMarijuana[RebootIllinois]

The medical marijuana program in Illinois just officially came online in November. Now a push to get the state to allow people with a growing number of medical conditions to legally qualify is picking up steam.

Late last year, the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended letting people suffering from PTSD, chronic pain and autism, among other conditions, legally use medical cannabis. The state Department of Public Health is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.

A change.org petition calling on state officials to approve the added conditions is gaining momentum, with nearly 10,000 signatures right now:

https://www.change.org/IllinoisCannabis

"As the nation's fifth most populous state, Illinois could see its medical marijuana program grow significantly by adding the new conditions (especially chronic pain), representing one of the most important developments for the cannabis industry this year so far," Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Thursday.

Patients in Illinois who stand to benefit from the new conditions being added have added their voices to the debate on the Change.org petition page.

"I have osteoarthritis and suffer from the pain daily," said Debra R. of Round Lake. "I find it hard to even walk through a grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner and have to have help putting things away. Please approve the condition as I am only 55 and would like to have some pain free life of what I have left."

Illinois: Impact Of Medical Cannabis On Patients To Be Evaluated

RevolutionEnterprisesFlowers

The choices, attitudes, and experience of medical cannabis patients in Illinois will be documented in a first-of-its-kind study through January 8.

Revolution Cannabis Analytics, a newly formed division of Revolution Enterprises, an Illinois-based company that manages two state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and laboratory facilities in Central Illinois, will perform the study.

Revolution Enterprises said it formed Revolution Cannabis Analytics "to better understand the unique effects of cannabinoids and the types of relief they may provide to patients suffering from certain conditions." Certain cannabinoids, a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant, may be beneficial in the treatment of various health conditions, according to a growing body of research.

Illinois, which allowed for the first sales of legal cannabis Nov. 9, has 3,600 registered patients for the state's pilot program, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, almost 29,300 persons with debilitating conditions have started the patient application process since IDPH began accepting applications on Sept. 2, 2014, data show.

"By using information captured through Revolution Cannabis Analytics, we will create the next generation of Revolution genetic varieties to precisely address specific debilitating conditions," said Revolution Enterprises CEO Tim McGraw. "This program will help Illinois to lead the world in the collection of analytical data and patient feedback as it relates to the science of cannabis."

Illinois: Bill Introduced To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

IllinoisStateOutlineFilledWithCannabis

Rep. Kelly Cassidy on Thursday announced that she is introducing new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.

HB 4357 would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine. Adults would no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense would be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.

The proposal largely mirrors legislation previously introduced by Rep. Cassidy that was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23, as well the amendments proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner when he vetoed the bill and returned it to the legislature on August 14.

“This is a reasonable proposal that is long overdue,” Rep. Cassidy said. “It needs to happen, and I am hopeful that we can make it happen quickly since it’s already such familiar territory for legislators and the governor.”

Members of the Illinois faith community joined Rep. Cassidy at the news conference to voice support for the bill. More than 50 clergy from around the state have signed a Religious Declaration of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, which includes support for civil rather than criminal sanctions for marijuana possession.

Illinois: New Bill Announced To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana

IllinoisMarijuana[KTRS]

Rep. Kelly Cassidy will hold a Thursday news conference to announce that she will introduce new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.

The news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT in the Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center. Rep. Cassidy will be joined by Rev. Alexander Sharp of Clergy for a New Drug Policy and other members of the Illinois faith community who believe the state’s current criminal penalties for marijuana possession are causing harm to their communities.

The new proposal will include provisions Gov. Bruce Rauner and a majority of the members of the General Assembly agreed to earlier this year. It will largely mirror legislation previously introduced by Rep. Cassidy that was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23, as well the amendments proposed by the governor when he vetoed the bill and returned it to the legislature on August 14.

WHAT: News conference to announce the introduction of new legislation to remove criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession and replace them a civil fine

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center, Blue Room, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago

WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 11 a.m. CT

WHO: Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Rev. Alexander Sharp, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
Members of the Illinois faith community

Graphic: KTRS

Illinois: Award-Winning Chicago Chef Launches Line Of Marijuana Edibles

MindySegal[PRNewswire]

Illinois medical marijuana patients will soon have a line of decadent chef-crafted products to choose from with the announcement of James Beard Award-Winning Chef Mindy Segal's new edible line. Segal, owner of Chicago's acclaimed Hot Chocolate Restaurant, is described as "the first high profile, award-winning celebrity chef to attach her personal brand to products in the cannabis industry."

Segal is partnering with Cresco Labs, Illinois largest cannabis cultivator, to produce the products. They plan for the line of infused products to be available for distribution beginning in late February with a variety of delicious and accurately dosed edibles.

Her initial products will include a line of chocolate brittle bars, a line of infused granola bites, an infused chocolate drink that is intended to be warmed to enhance the soothing effects, and a ready-made mix with do-it-yourself instructions.

"We've all heard the expression 'it tastes like medicine' but there's no reason it has to," Segal said. "With my recipes and Cresco's technology, we're developing this line of products to be consistent every time and absolutely enjoyable to eat."

Illinois: First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

IllinoisDispensariesOpen[Leafly]

Illinois’ first medical marijuana dispensaries have opened across the state, with five opening on Monday, including locations in Addison, Canton, Marion, Mundelein, and Quincy.

So far, a total of eight shops are approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health with seven more dispensaries expected to open later this month, bringing the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Illinois to 15. In order to be protected under state law, Illinois patients must obtain their medical marijuana from one of these licensed dispensaries.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting to have access to this medicine,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We are grateful they will no longer have to put themselves at risk by purchasing it in an underground market.” Under the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), patients must register and select one designated dispensary as their source of medicine. According to the Department of Public Health, 3,300 patients have registered for the medical cannabis identification cards.

“The dispensary openings mark the most significant milestone since the pilot program began nearly two and half years ago,” said Lindsey. “A limited number of patients with certain conditions will now be able to legally access medical marijuana. We hope the state can see that a program like this works and we can finally relieve the suffering of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.”

Illinois: Legal Medical Marijuana Smells Like Money And Jobs

IllinoisMedicalMarijuanaCropAlbion[SethPerlman-

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The skunky aroma of marijuana in a rural southeastern Illinois town isn't a source of complaints... in fact, to most residents, it smells like money and jobs.

It's almost harvest timer in the historic town of Albion, which means a new farmland ritual is beginning amid the surrounding cornfields, reports Carla K. Johnson at the Associated Press.

Ataraxia is one of a handful of cultivation centers in Illinois, and it's the first to complete a gauntlet of state requirements. Stores in Albion can't sell liquor, but marijuana has been welcomed as a badly needed source of employment.

A t-shirt for sale in town makes light of the odd juxtaposition: it says Albion is "High and Dry." That's OK; marijuana's safer than alcohol!

"It's brought our little town to life," said Cheryl Taylor, who sells the shirts at her shop on the square.

The history-making cannabis crop is being cut and dried behind the locked doors of a giant warehouse down a country road, behind the New Holland tractor dealer and the Pioneer seed plant. By mid-October, strains including Blue Dream, OG Kush, Death Star and White Poison will be turned into oils, creams, flowers for smoking, and edibles.

Illinois: Governor's Amendatory Veto Sends Pot Decrim Bill Back To Assembly For Final Approval

IllinoisMarijuanaLeafCountyMap[TheJointBlog]

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday issued an amendatory veto of a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amount of marijuana, sending it back to the General Assembly for final approval.

The General Assembly has 15 days from the next session date to approve the amended version of HB 218, which needs to receive a simple majority vote in the House and then the Senate to officially become law. The original version, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23.

Gov. Rauner’s amended version of HB 218 would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil law violation punishable by a fine of up to $200 with no possibility of jail time, and the civil offense would be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record. The original version applied to possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana and set the amount of the fine at up to $125.

Under current Illinois law, possession of up to 2.5 grams of marijuana is a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500, and possession of more than 2.5 grams and up to 10 grams is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500. More than 100 localities in Illinois have adopted measures that reduce penalties for simple marijuana possession.

Illinois: Senate Approves Bill To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

IllinoisMarijuana[KTRS]

Measure Will Be Sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner for His Signature

HB 218 replaces the threat of jail time and a criminal record with a civil penalty — a $125 fine, similar to a traffic ticket — for possession of a small amount of marijuana

The Illinois Senate on Thursday approved a bill 37-19 to remove criminal penalties for possession of a small amount of marijuana. The measure, which was approved by the House of Representatives in April, will now be sent to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

HB 218, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and in the House by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), makes possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana a civil law violation punishable by a $125 fine. Individuals will no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense will be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.

“Serious criminal penalties should be reserved for individuals who commit serious crimes,” Rep. Cassidy said. “The possibility of jail time should not even be on the table when it comes to simple marijuana possession. Criminalizing people for marijuana possession is not a good use of our state’s limited law enforcement resources.”

Illinois: Desktop Cannabis Potency Measurement System To Be Unveiled At Marijuana Business Expo

LuminarySageAnalytics

Sage Analytics, developers of portable laboratory quality cannabis potency measurement systems, on Wednesday announced that they will introduce their newest product, the Luminary™ Beacon, at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo, to be held in Chicago, May 19-21.

Unlike any other product on the market, according to Sage, "the Beacon provides instant, on-the-spot feedback, and is expected to be a vital tool toward standardization in cannabis potency profiling, and accuracy in consumer information and labeling."

"The Luminary™ Beacon is a small, portable desktop system that is simple to use in any location and requires little training to obtain on-site, instantaneous, laboratory-grade accurate measurement of THC, CBD, and CBN," the company's press release states. "Unlike gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the Luminary™ Beacon uses optical spectroscopy (light) to instantly measure the potency of cannabis products at the molecular level.

Spectroscopy offers a number of distinct advantages over alternative methods, according to Sage Analytics: It is portable and can be used virtually anywhere, it is easy to use and requires just minimal training to become proficient, requires no toxic chemicals for preparation or analysis, and it leaves the sample intact for future use.

Illinois: House Approves Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

DecriminalizeMarijuana!

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Illinois House on Thursday approved a decriminalization measure under which possession of small amounts of marijuana would result in a fine instead of arrest.

Minor cannabis possession would go from a crime with up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500 to become more like a traffic ticket, with no court time and a fine maxing out at $125, reports Jessie Hellmann at the Chicago Tribune.

House Bill 218 would apply to people caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana, just over half an ounce.

The legislation would create a uniform penalty throughout the state, and eliminate the option for police to arrest people carrying small amounts of cannabis, according to sponsor Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago).

"We currently have a patchwork of local ordinances where there is the possibility of getting a ticket but not a given that you'll get a ticket, so it's an open question where you go whether you're going to get arrested or get a ticket," Rep. Cassidy said.

"That creates a system whereby it depends on where you live, and what you look like, and unfortunately more often than not, it is folks who are black and brown who are being arrested, who are being pulled off the streets, pulled away from their jobs and their families and put into our jails and prisons," she said.

Illinois: CEO In Medical Marijuana Dispute With State Dies Unexpectedly

AndrewJames-PMRx

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The chief executive officer of a medical marijuana company fighting in court with the state of Illinois has died unexpectedly.

Andrew James, 51, on Thursday was found unresponsive at his home in Kenilworth, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, reports Becky Schlikerman at the Chicago Sun-Times. An autopsy was inconclusive, the office said on Friday; officials are waiting for more test results.

James, an attorney, was the CEO of PM Rx, a company which had applied for a medical marijuana farming permit in the Kankakee area. When the company lost on its bid, it sued, accusing Illinois of failing to follow its own licensing guidelines when ranking applications for the coveted growing permits, which represent a potentially lucrative source of income.

The closely watched case has resulted in a temporary restraining order preventing the state and permit winner Cresco Labs from going ahead with plans to plant cannabis.

James "was firmly convinced the process was profoundly flawed," said his friend John Stephens, an attorney with Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, who first hired James as an intern in 1988.

Illinois: Medical Cannabis Physicians' Summit Aims To Educate Medical Community

IllinoisMedicalMarijuanaPhysiciansSummitGreenCrossLeaves

The Canna Law Group, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Americans for Safe Access, and the Marijuana Policy Project, is co-hosting the Illinois Medical Cannabis Physicians’ Summit on Friday, June 5, 2015 at the Westin Chicago River North.

The summit will educate licensed medical professionals on current medical cannabis research, state and federal law, and the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. “Educating the medical community about medical cannabis treatment options is essential for the long-term success of the program,” said Rep. Lou Lang, prime sponsor of the current medical cannabis law.

The event will feature as its keynote speaker leading cannabis researcher Dr. Donald Abrams, who has conducted multiple FDA-approved studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. Dr. Suzanne Sisley, another clinical researcher on cannabis who studies its benefits for PTSD sufferers, will also speak at the summit.

“Many doctors need to better understand the current research behind medical cannabis,” said Dr. Abrams. “This is a chance to share my own first-hand research experiences at the University of California San Francisco and educate Illinois doctors about how I've applied those experiences in a clinical setting.”

Also speaking is Dr. Leslie Mendoza-Temple, chair of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, who said “This will be an important event for any medical professional who wants to understand the research, law, and administrative processes of a program that will help thousands of patients in Illinois.”

U.S.: Researcher Forecasts Next 5 States Likely To Legalize Marijuana

5StatesWhereRecreationalMarijuanaCouldSoonBeLegal(BarneyWarf-UniversityOfKansas)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With laws taking effect last week legalizing recreational marijuana in both Alaska and Washington, D.C., a researcher into the history of cannabis has predicted the next five U.S. states where voters will likely approve the use of pot for relaxation and enjoyment.

University of Kansas geography professor Barney Warf, author of "High Points: An Historical History of Cannabis," published in the peer-reviewed Geographical Review in September 2014, said legalization can be "hard to predict," but he made his forecast of the next states expected to legalize, "based on current laws and voter leanings."

"All five of these states have legal medical marijuana and tend to be liberal or libertarian in voting patterns," Warf said.

The Next Five States Where Recreational Marijuana Could Be Legal

1. California: "Recreational cannabis almost was legalized in the past, and California voters are sure to do so in 2016," Warf said.

2. Nevada:: "Nevada shares the libertarian sentiments of Alaska."

3. Vermont: "There's a strong liberal tradition there in Vermont."

4. Illinois: "The Land of Lincoln is surprisingly progressive on this issue."

5. New York:: "New York legalized medical marijuana last year."

Illinois: 'Freakonomics' Author To Keynote Marijuana Business Conference In Chicago

StevenLevittFreakonomics(TheExiled)

Bestselling author Steven Levitt is scheduled to keynote Marijuana Business Daily's Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, to be held at the Chicago Hilton May 19-21.

Levitt's book, Freakonomics, spent eight years on the New York Times bestseller list, selling more than five million copies.

A tenured economics professor at the University of Chicago, Levitt believes in order to fix or change the world, you first have to understand it. He sifts through data for revelations that help everyone from banks to professional athletes see new connections and opportunities.

Now, Levitt is applying his enormous curiosity to the future of the legal cannabis industry.

More than 2,000 marijuana entrepreneurs and major investors are expected to attend Levitt's keynote at the Spring show.

Registration:
Spring 2015 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo

Photo: The Exiled

Illinois: Medical Marijuana In Limbo As Hostile GOP Governor Takes Office

IllinoisMedicalMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois patients who are still waiting for safe access to medical marijuana were once again left disappointed on Monday when outgoing Democratic Governor Pat Quinn not only failed to award licenses to growers and dispensaries before leaving office, but actually tightened the state's already strict medical marijuana laws in one of his final acts in office.

"I was livid," said state Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who originally sponsored Illinois' medical marijuana law, reports Kim Bellware at The Huffington Post. "I think the governor made a serious and grievous mistake today."

Patient advocates had hoped Quinn would get the program off the ground by issuing licenses before incoming Republican Governor Bruce Rauner -- who ridiculed the medical marijuana program during his election campaign -- was sworn in on Monday. While medicinal cannabis has been legal for more than a year now in Illinois, the state violated its own deadline at the end of 2014 to issue licenses.

Patients have yet to benefit from the law.

Syndicate content