Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a pair of bills this week that expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The bills expand who can get a medical card, and when they can use it.
While the program was initially limited to just six years when it was first signed in 2013, it has now become permanent. In 2013, Illinois lawmakers made it a “pilot,” in order to test the concept and work out any bugs.
With recreational marijuana set to become legal in January, medical sales will be permanent too.
State Senator Laura Fine commented on her husband who is an amputee, “He doesn’t have to hide in the basement on a day when he’s in pain” she explained. “He can be acting with our children, going about his daily life, and not having the severe pain that he usually suffers.”
At least 11 new conditions now qualify for a medical card.
Pritzker also signed a related bill on Monday where school children who are registered under the medical cannabis program will also be able to take it at school themselves under supervision of a school nurse or administrator. A parent will have to approve the move first.
Patients will also be allowed to grow up to five plants at home starting in January, so long as the plants are out of public view and are under lock and key.