Morgan Sponsored Improvements to Medical Cannabis Program Signed into Law
SB 2023 makes the program permanent, adds all of the medical conditions recommended by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. SB 455 increases access for minors seeking cannabis treatment at school.
SPRINGFIELD, IL- Today, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bills 2023 and 455 into law. Governor Pritzker and Representative Bob Morgan were joined by State Senator Laura Fine, patients and advocates at Springfield Memorial Hospital for the bill signing.
SB 2023 removes the July 1. 2020 sunset to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and adds several measures to improve the program for patients. The Pilot Program allowed the use of cannabis for a limited number of debilitating medical issues and would be automatically ended without Rep. Morgan’s re-authorization bill.
“I have been working on cannabis law and regulation in Illinois for the past 8 years, and after seeing delays, broken promises and suffering patients be let down time and time again, I could not be happier to see our Governor take action on these bills. These changes are years in the making.” said Rep. Morgan.
The new legislation would add qualifying medical conditions that were previously approved by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. Those conditions are autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, superior canal dehiscence syndrome.
SB 2023 allows for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to recommend medical cannabis as an option for new patients in addition to physicians. The bill also increases the number of caregivers (up to 3) that patients can designate to help them access the medical cannabis program, particularly helping children and senior patients.
“This legislation brings our medical cannabis program in line with my administration’s vision for equity, and it makes adjustments for the lessons we’ve learned since its inception,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As we continue to reform state government so it better serves its families, we must do so in a way that advances dignity, empathy, opportunity and grace.”
SB 455 will ensure access by allowing a trained school nurse or administrator to administer or supervise the self administration of medical cannabis by patients on school grounds.
Minor patients participating in the Medical Cannabis Program suffer from serious illnesses that require regular doses of medication throughout the day. While a number of issues were addressed with passage of Ashley’s law last session, there have still been barriers for minor patients who need access at school.
“SB 455 is about making sure young people have access to their medicine while being able to go to school and camp and just be a kid. It’s about stopping families from having to choose between their child’s education or their child’s physical well-being. said Rep. Morgan. These bills are about access to healthcare. After all. we have made it easy to get lethal opioids but hard to access non-lethal cannabis, and with this legislation, Illinois is making public health a priority over any industry or special interest.”