medical cannabis advisory board

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

BruceRaunerGOPGovernorIllinois[ChicagoNow].jpg

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: 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 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."

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