Illinois Becomes 20th State To Sanction Therapeutic Use Of Cannabis

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 1, 2013

    Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn this morning signed legislation (HB 01) into law making Illinois the 20th state to authorize the physician-recommended use of cannabis for qualified patients. (View numerous pictures of today’s bill signing ceremony from Illinois NORML here.)

    The new law establishes a statewide, four-year pilot program regulating the production, distribution, and possession of medical cannabis. The program creates up to 22 state-licensed cannabis cultivation centers and up to 60 state-licensed dispensaries. Qualified patients participating in the program must have a preexisting relationship with their physician prior to receiving a recommendation for cannabis therapy. Patients diagnosed with one of approximately 40 qualifying conditions — including cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease — will be permitted to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14-day period. Under the law, patients must obtain cannabis only from a state-licensed facility.

    The law takes effect on January 1, 2014. State regulators have 120-days following the bill’s enactment to file program rules and regulations with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

    Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC now have licensed medical cannabis dispensaries up and running. (California dispensaries are not licensed by the state.) Similar dispensary outlets are in the process of opening in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada and New Hampshire. Legislation in Oregon to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries awaits action from the governor.

    44 responses to “Illinois Becomes 20th State To Sanction Therapeutic Use Of Cannabis”

    1. David says:


    2. Shawn says:

      Does that mean we will have to wait at least four years before the possibility of legalization for recreational use?

    3. Fireweed says:

      When is it going to be Ohio’s turn?!?!?

      [Paul Armentano replies: States don’t get ‘turns.’ The passage of today’s law in Illinois was the result of many years of lobbying — largely by stakeholders on the ground, but also by a coalition of national organizations — which is what it takes to enact legislative reforms.]

    4. gregg M. says:

      Whether it is a trail period or not it is an in that places like “WISCONSIN”
      Wisconsin is going the complete opposite way.
      It is the “POLITICS” and the PAID people WE elected that are doing this all to us. This state of WI needs a major overhaul to get rid of the bad apples, That have spoiled the whole thing..

    5. Chris says:

      I find this a step towards the right direction but still a huge slap in the face. Yet again I am still having to obtain my medical pot from unreliable resources due to not having medical insurance. I have arthritis in my chest due to having it cracked open 3 times for surgery. I use marijuana among advil to help and it does. But since I do not have a current physician I guess I will continue to break the law. Grow up Illinois.

    6. HmmmSaysDavidHume says:

      The law allows a statistically very small portion of the population access. Kudos to the TIRELESS efforts of many at Illinois NORML, MPP and many patients who lobbied for this important milestone, as well as Sen Lou Lang. Some of these patients who worked the corridors of the General Assembly will still not have access. Many did this out of love for their fellow human being, and it is with gratitude that We should thank those who worked so hard, as well as the legislators and Governor Quinn for their courage in enacting the law. However limited in scope it is, it’s a start nonetheless. And it’s a big deal, considering that Illinois has Chicago and Springfield, which are largely liberal, while all the remaining rural counties are primarily conservative. If this isn’t an indication of outstanding lobbying, as well as a shift in societal views, none is.

      To all who worked so hard for so long, well done!

    7. Julian says:

      Wow, another one in less than two weeks? Congradulations again Norml and all the other groups that worked so hard for this reform. It may have taken years, but the pro-cannabis movement is in full swing! Of course, with the front page showing Danny Chong’s abuse, and Uruguay legalizing cannabis, the climate is right for reform.
      At this rate we’ll be way past 25 states with pro-cannabis legislation before 2014 elections…

    8. mr.nice says:

      big biz. has a stake in this the fact you cant grow your own shows that this is nothing but a hostile takeover against small entrepreneurs and people who cant afford corporate weed. nuff said!

    9. Donnie ruyle says:

      Where can you find a doctor to prescribe? Live
      An hour from Springfield

    10. ronald herb says:

      lets get Wisconsin going next/ill is right next to us come on wiscosin jump on board what the hell