ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of November 15
ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers House Bill 30, which creates a three-year pilot program that would make Illinois the 19th state (along with the District of Columbia) to allow sick or dying people to use small amounts of medical cannabis. It would require a doctor to certify that the patient suffers from a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis C and that this limited use would ease that suffering. More information on the bill is available below the video.
Key components of House Bill 30 (Lang, D-Skokie) are as follows:
- A physician may submit a written certification only for a patient with whom the physician has an ongoing relationship and is receiving treatment for the underlying condition from the certifying physician.
- The number of dispensaries would be limited to one in each of Illinois’ 59 Senate districts.
- The Illinois Department of Public Health would regulate the program allowing a nonprofit dispensary to sell no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis for a 14-day period to qualified patients. A patient may not grow his or her own medical cannabis.
- After receiving a written certification from the patient’s regular physician, the Department would issue an identification card to the patient and, if one is appointed, the patient’s primary caregiver.
- The physician’s written certification must state that the patient is likely to receive a therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or its symptoms. The condition must be listed in House Bill 30 to be eligible. Unlike other states, generalized “pain” is not a qualifying condition under House Bill 30.
- Medical cannabis would be treated the same for tax purposes as other prescription and nonprescription drugs.
The Illinois General Assembly website may be found at www.ilga.gov It is a simple and user-friendly site for tracking legislation or changes to the Illinois Compiled Statutes.