Illinois

Tue
09
Apr

Illinois is really close to legalizing marijuana … or is it?

Some 57,837 Illinois residents can legally use cannabis under Illinois’ medical marijuana program, but for adults without a chronic condition like glaucoma, pain, or PTSD, it’s still against state law.  

A package that would legalize cannabis for all adults is forthcoming; state Sen. Heather Steans says she and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (both are Democrats from Chicago) expect to introduce draft language by the end of April – enough time, Steans said, for legislators to digest and vet it, with a vote expected before the legislative session adjourns at the end of May.

Tue
02
Apr

Illinois: Working towards medical cannabis acceptance as an alternative to opioids

Patients who have a prescription for opioids to manage pain may be eligible to switch to medical cannabis. The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering patients that choice in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic. But Rock Island County health officials say they haven't seen patients seek that alternative.

"We have had no applications yet for the opioid alternative program," said Janet Hill, chief operating officer Rock Island County's health department.

She said her department is working to get the word out to patients and physicians, and has sent educational material to physicians in  the UnityPoint and Genesis healthcare systems.

Tue
02
Apr

Will employers still test for marijuana if recreational use becomes legal in Illinois? Don't keep a pipe at your desk just yet.

The prospect of marijuana legalization might inspire visions of weed-smoking breaks at work, or grabbing a joint with co-workers after a hectic day at the office.

But the reality of legalization in Illinois, if it happens at all, would likely be much hazier. Some employers might start turning a blind eye to employee use _ as long as workers can still do their jobs _ a trend that's already happening in some other states where it's legal. Other employers, however, might still ban its use, taking action against employees who test positive for pot, bolstered by federal law under which marijuana is still illegal, experts say.

What is clear is that employers will be faced with questions that, a generation ago, would have been unthinkable.

Mon
01
Apr

Illinois proposes rules for start-up hemp industry

The General Assembly passed a bill last year allowing the production of industrial hemp in the state. Now comes the fine print. And there is a lot of it.

Proposed rules cover minimum acreage, transportation limitations and even criminal background checks. Producers must provide records and also pay various fees to the state for permits.

The regulations are necessary because of the plant’s similarity to marijuana, according to Jeff Cox, who oversees medical marijuana as well as hemp production in the state. Botanically, both are cannabis sativa L., though hemp varieties have little or no THC, the buzz-inducing chemical in marijuana.

Tue
26
Mar

Bill would make Illinois medical marijuana program permanent

Illinois could permanently legalize medical marijuana under a new proposal that also would expand the state's pilot program to include more common conditions for which the drug could be prescribed.

Democratic Rep. Bob Morgan, who's sponsoring the bill, told the Chicago Tribune that Illinois' pilot program has safely helped people struggling with conditions such as cancer and AIDS.

Mon
18
Mar

If recreational cannabis becomes legal in Illinois, how the industry could grow

No one predicts pot brownies for sale in every grocery store if recreational adult use of cannabis is approved by the Illinois legislature.

But experts and industry insiders anticipate plenty of opportunities for businesses to get involved in what could be a new legal market for an already popular product.

Tue
05
Mar

Experts say Illinois cannabis growers won’t keep up with recreational demand

A study commissioned by Illinois state lawmakers has determined that the state’s licensed medical marijuana growers would not be able to keep up with demand if recreational pot is legalized. The report, by Colorado consulting firm Freeman and Koski, predicts that the 16 licensed cannabis cultivators would only be able to meet 35 to 44 percent of demand if the recreational use of pot is legalized. The study’s estimates were based on research that shows 8 percent of Illinois residents admit to using cannabis and the state’s strong tourism industry.

Fri
01
Mar

Demand for legal marijuana in Illinois would far exceed licensed growers' ability to supply it, study shows

Legal recreational marijuana in Illinois could drive demand as high as 550,000 pounds a year, far more than the state’s licensed growers can supply, according to a new study commissioned by state legislators.

Wed
27
Feb

Worth the wait? Medical marijuana in MO and IL

By the end of 2019 you may be able to get medical marijuana in the state of Missouri if you are certified by a doctor.

Seems simple enough, but looks can be deceiving. Illinois has been in the medical marijuana business for five years and has much to teach its neighbor about the promise and the pitfalls of pot.

After high school, Jeff Ashworth learned the art of furniture repair. He was successful at his new career but these days he finds himself just vacuuming around furniture.

Fri
08
Feb

First bill emerges this year to legalize marijuana in Illinois — would allow up to 24 plants at home

A Democratic state lawmaker has filed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois that likely goes further than other legislators prefer, but it has officially started the debate over complex legislation that will need to serve many interests.

The bill, introduced Jan. 25 by Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana, would allow licensed businesses to grow and sell pot, and residents to grow up to 24 plants at home.

The measure is unlikely to pass because lawmakers are expected to act on a more restrictive proposal that’s been in the works for more than a year.

Among the more noteworthy provisions, Ammons’ bill would allow for the creation of on-site consumption areas for customers to smoke or swallow the drug.

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