Lou Lang

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Illinois: Medical Marijuana Advocates Applaud Rauner's About-face

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates are happy that Gov. Bruce Rauner has changed his mind about expanding the Illinois pilot program, saying it will help more patients who are suffering.

Democratic state Rep. Lou Lana announced an agreement Friday with the Republican governor to extend Illinois' four-year pilot program to 2020. It was originally set to end in 2018, but supporters argued more time was needed because medical marijuana sales just started in November 2015.

The agreement adds post traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the qualifying conditions. Rauner had previously rejected recommendations to add conditions.

Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple is chairwoman of Illinois' Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. She says she's "thrilled" more patients will benefit.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Advocates Cheer Governor's About-Face On Expanding Program


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's about-face on expanding the state's medicinal cannabis pilot program, saying it will allow time to show the program is working and help more suffering patients.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang on Friday announced an agreement with the Republican governor to extend the state's four-year medical marijuana pilot program to 2020, reports the Associated Press.

The program had been set to expire in 2018, but advocates said more time is needed because medicinal cannabis sales only began in November 2015.

The agreement, which still must be approved by the Illinois Legislature, adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and terminal illness to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

Governor Rauner had previously balked at adding any conditions, despite recommendations from the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

Chairwoman Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple of the board said she's "thrilled" that more patients will now benefit from the program.

Photo of Gov. Bruce Rauner: Chicago Now

Illinois: House Approves Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession


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: Medical Cannabis Physicians' Summit Aims To Educate Medical Community


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.”

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Could Be Available To Patients In Early 2015


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Patients in Illinois who qualify under the state's Medical Cannabis Pilot Program could be able to start legally using marijuana early next year, according to program coordinator Bob Morgan, who is a lawyer for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

"Right now, we think it's a good time for patients to be having that conversation with their physicians and their caregivers if they have any interest in participating in the program," Morgan said.

The powerful Joint Committee on Administrative Rules plan to meet in Chicago on Tuesday to discuss the rules to implement the state's medical marijuana program, reports Becky Schlikerman at the Chicago Sun-Times.

If the committee agrees on the rules, the process to register patients, dispensers and growers can begin.

Patients who are approved by the state as having debilitating medical conditions qualifying for medical marijuana will be able to get identification cards beginning in September, according to Morgan, but the application process will be staggered.

Applications for those who want to sell or grow marijuana will be out around the same time, Morgan said.

Illinois: Work Begins On Medical Marijuana Rules


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois officials have begun the work of setting up a system of regulations to let patients buy medical marijuana in the state.

Officials from at least four state agencies are meeting to draft rules that will govern medicinal cannabis distribution, reports Kurt Erickson at The Southern Illinoisan. Their goal is to have a final version ready for the Legislature by May.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, passed this summer, makes Illinois the 20th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. It allows patients with serious medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's, multiple sclerosis, lupus and other conditions to legally use marijuana with a physician's authorization.

Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), sponsor of the law, said he hopes state regulators can issue a draft of their rules before the May deadline. "I know I've laid some difficult tasks on their plates," Lang said. "I'm just pleased that they're meeting now."

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Industry Experts Hosting Chicago Educational Event


Professionals from around the nation featured at day-long event to educate investors and entrepreneurs in Illinois’ emerging medical industry

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will host the Midwest CannaBusiness Symposium on August 24 in Chicago to prepare investors and entrepreneurs for Illinois’ emerging medical cannabis industry.

Earlier this month, Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 1 and created a framework for the licensure of as many as 22 cultivation facilities and 60 dispensing organizations to provide medical marijuana to qualifying patients.

The symposium will bring cannabis business professionals from around the country to provide insight to Illinois’ prospective medical marijuana investors and entrepreneurs, setting the stage for a responsible, sustainable, and effective medical marijuana industry.

The day-long educational program will present investors and entrepreneurs interested in Illinois’ medical cannabis market with a unique opportunity to glean information from cannabis business professionals and experts in the fields of regulatory models, operations and ancillary businesses and features individual and panel presentations, question and answer periods, and an evening networking reception.

“Illinois joins 15 other states in not only allowing the choice of medical cannabis for those patients who need it, but also ensuring it is provided in the safest, most accountable manner possible: from licensed, taxed, and regulated businesses,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Illinois: Midwest Cannabusiness Symposium Scheduled For Aug. 24


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a trade association representing state-legal cannabis businesses, will host the Midwest CannaBusiness Symposium on August 24 in Chicago. The Symposium will bring cannabis business professionals from around the country to provide insight to Illinois’ prospective medical marijuana investors and entrepreneurs, setting the stage for a responsible, sustainable, and effective medical marijuana industry.

NCIA is celebrating Illinois' advancement in medical marijuana policy with the upcoming symposium, featuring bill sponsor Illinois Rep. Lou Lang, Harborside Health Center's Steve DeAngelo, and 15 leaders in marijuana business with decades of combined experience.

Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday signed Illinois House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, making Illinois the 20th state with a medical marijuana program and the 15th to allow regulated, state-legal medical marijuana providers.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Lou Lang (D – Skokie), creates a framework for the licensure of as many as 22 cultivation facilities and 60 dispensing organizations to provide medical marijuana to qualifying patients. Extensive security, license qualification, inventory, and auditing requirements will ensure that medical cannabis produced and sold within the regulated market will be closely controlled and the individuals responsible for it will be held to high standards.

Illinois: Governor To Sign Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Today


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It's been a long time coming, and a hard fight. Medical marijuana advocates have made it to the one-yard-line several times, only to be turned back. But today, August 1, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. local time, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill which legalizes medical marijuana in Illinois.

Democratic Gov. Quinn signed the bill in a ceremony at the University of Chicago, reports Ray Long at the Chicago Tribune. The four-year trial program will be the strictest medicinal cannabis law in the nation, according to supporters.

Under the law, medical marijuana can be authorized for patients with nausea from cancer treatment, with multiple sclerosis, and with AIDS.

Quinn's signature will make Illinois the 20th state (plus the District of Columbia) that have legalized cannabis for medicinal uses, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

For years, the medical marijuana bill had fallen short at the Capitol, especially in the House. But this spring, the tireless Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) was able to get together the votes needed to send the bill to the Illinois Senate, where a similar, but less restrictive, bill had passed in previous years.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Senate Committee Vote

(Graphic: The Daily Chronic)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in Illinois cleared a key Senate committee vote on Wednesday.

The medical marijuana bill was approved on a 10-5 vote by the Senate Executive Committee late Wednesday night, reports Monique Garcia at the Chicago Tribune.

The bill was approved over the objections of members of the law enforcement community, who claimed the bill wouldn't prevent medical marijuana patients from driving while under the influence of cannabis. (Statistics from states where medical marijuana is legal has shown they have fewer fatal auto accidents than before medicinal cannabis laws were passed.)

The bill now goes to the full Senate, which approved similar legislation in 2009. The proposal already cleared the Illinois House last month, and Gov. Pat Quinn has said he is "open minded" on the subject.

Illinois: House Approves Medical Marijuana Legislation

Illinois Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers House Bill 1 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana and establish regulated system of distribution advances to Senate

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on a 61-57 vote legislation that would allow patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes with their doctors’ approval. This marks the first time the House has approved such a measure.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate, which approved a less restrictive version of the bill in 2009.

“I have been diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable cancer that in all likelihood will someday take my life,” said Jessica Bauer, a 27-year-old Rockford resident with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “I would like to live out the rest of my days with dignity and enjoy what time I have left with my 5-year-old daughter.

“Medical marijuana allows me to do that,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to live in fear of arrest for using it or have to resort to the illicit market to obtain it.”

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In Legislature

Photo - Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In LegislatureBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill to allow Illinois residents to use medical marijuana in the treatment of their debilitating medical conditions moved one step closer to becoming law on Wednesday when it was approved 11-4 by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now heads to the full 118-member House of Representatives.

House Bill 1, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), a friend to medical marijuana patients for years, would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS to use medicinal cannabis if their doctors recommend it.

Qualified patients would be able to get marijuana from one of up to 60 dispensaries, which would acquire the cannabis from up to 22 cultivation centers. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Financial & Professional Regulation would control the cultivation, acquisition, and distribution of marijuana.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Bill Defeated by 4 Votes in House

By MyFox Chicago Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Chicago - Lawmakers in Springfield turned down a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana Thursday.

Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. currently allow marijuana to be allowed for medical use, but in Illinois, that won't be happening anytime soon.

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang from Skokie. It was narrowly defeated by four votes in the House Thursday.

Supporters of the bill say it would have provided much relief for people suffering from AIDS or other chronic diseases to help them with pain relief and help them regain an appetite, which would also make them feel better.

Source: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/politics/medical-marijuana-legislat...

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