Illinois medical marijuana

Dank Depot / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

A proposal to allow the temporary use of cannabis over opioids for pain management was approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday.   It would allow a patient who doesn’t have immediate access to a medical marijuana card to be temporarily certified by a doctor to use cannabis.

Chris McCloud is with HCI alternatives, a medical cannabis dispensary. He says this legislative approach is a unique plan addressing the problem of opioid addiction.


Kids who are prescribed medical marijuana might be allowed to use the drug on school grounds under an Illinois proposal. The legislation would allow parents to give cannabis medication to those kids if and when they need it.

Representative Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, says about 250 kids around the state use cannabis-oil patches to treat a range of conditions from epilepsy to cancer. Although medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2013, Lang says the drug is still banned in schools no matter what.

Dank Depot / Flickr / / CC 2.0

The parents of a suburban Chicago elementary school student suffering from leukemia are suing a Schaumburg-based school district and the state of Illinois for her to have the right to take medical marijuana at school.

Medical Marijuana in West Central Illinois

Feb 6, 2017
Breanna Descourouez / Tri-States Public Radio

Adam Colgan remembers the exact date he first tried snowboarding.  "January 22nd, 2011," he said, adding nothing about that day's fun in the snow seemed unusual at the time.


"I fell on my ass, which is totally normal and completely fine."

Mark / Flickr

Illinois is marking its first year of medical marijuana sales as more states voted on Election Day to allow legal use of the drug.

Despite anecdotes of medical marijuana's positive influence on patients, broader data and randomized clinical trials of its use remain very limited.

Illinois' experiment with medical marijuana has gotten a boost thanks to a 2 1/2-year pilot program extension and the inclusion of two more medical conditions.  The extension and inclusion of post-traumatic stress disorder and some terminal illnesses are part of legislation Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Thursday. 

A Cook County judge has ordered Illinois to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment in a case filed by a military veteran.  Judge Neil Cohen  ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days.  

Medical marijuana retail shops in Illinois saw a slight increase in sales in May compared to the previous month.   Program director Joseph Wright says registered dispensaries sold nearly $2.3 million worth of marijuana in May to more than 5,100 patients.  

David Trawin / Flickr

An extension of Illinois' medical marijuana program by two and a half  years won lawmakers' approval. The Senate Tuesday also overwhelmingly voted to add post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible medical condition.

Senator William Haine, the Alton Democrat sponsoring the measure, says cannabis can ease suffering.  

Where Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program Stands

May 30, 2016
Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is just getting started.  The first stores opened last fall and some 6,000 people are now approved to buy cannabis through the pilot program. That number is much smaller than what many advocates say is needed to create a viable business.  There are a number of factors behind the slower-than-expected rollout of a pilot program scheduled to expire in January 2018.

The Illinois medical marijuana industry saw $2.2 million in retail sales during April, the largest one-month figure yet.  Program director Joseph Wright says the program now includes 36 dispensaries and 6,200 qualified patients.

Illinois medical marijuana shops had their best month yet in February with nearly $1.5 million in sales.  This brings the total retail sales to more than $4.4 million since the program began Nov. 9.

Medical marijuana sales in Illinois picked up in January as more dispensaries opened around the state.  Seven new dispensaries joined the program last month, bringing the total to 28 shops.

sillydog / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois medical marijuana advocates say they delivered 25,000 signatures to Gov. Bruce Rauner ahead of the State of the State address.

Medical Cannabis Outreach petitioned the Republican governor Wednesday to expand the state's medical marijuana program to include post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects many military veterans, and seven other conditions.

 Iraq war veteran Jonathan Byrne says he wants Rauner to give vets a choice to use marijuana instead of prescription drugs. He has a traumatic brain injury. 

 A statewide coalition plans to launch a social media campaign to press Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to expand the medical marijuana pilot program to more patients. 

 The Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition says its campaign will include short video testimonials from Illinois residents. It kicks off today with an Iraq War veteran asking for post-traumatic stress disorder to be added to the list of eligible conditions. 

An expert panel in October recommended adding eight medical conditions to the marijuana treatment list.

The pace of Illinois patients getting state approval to use medical marijuana has increased.  The Illinois Department of Public Health announced it approved 4,000 patients to use medical marijuana in the state's pilot program. 

Officials say Illinois patients legally purchased nearly $1.7 million worth of medical marijuana during November and December.

Illinois officials say the state's first medical marijuana patients have purchased nearly $801,000 worth of cannabis during the program's first month.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Marijuana-friendly doctors in states with similar medical cannabis laws face starkly different treatment by government regulators. When it comes to oversight of doctors, enforcement practices vary in the 23 states allowing medical cannabis. How governments oversee pot doctors has become an issue, even in more tolerant states such as California and Colorado.

The Illinois law allowing the sale of medical marijuana, also prohibits campaign contributions from companies in the cannabis industry. Now that part of the law is being challenged in federal court.

Illinois' new medical marijuana shops sold nearly $211,000 worth of cannabis in the first week, with less than a quarter of eligible patients buying so far.   The state's first regulated marijuana dispensaries opened Monday. 

The Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals voted Thursday to overturn a decision that barred a medical cannabis dispensary from opening.

Illinois officials say patients will be able to buy medical marijuana legally for the first time Monday.  The state's medical cannabis program director says eight dispensaries are authorized to start selling Monday.

David Trawin / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The number of Illinois patients approved to use medical marijuana continues to climb as dispensaries get ready to sell the drug for the first time.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it has approved 3,300 patients to use medical marijuana in the state's pilot program. That includes 20 children.

 The department began mailing official identification cards to registered patients and caregivers Friday. Last week, program director Joseph Wright said sales should begin soon and a date would be announced. 

An Illinois veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is asking a judge to reverse a state decision against adding PTSD to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

An advisory board voted to add eight health conditions to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois. 

CHICAGO - The typical patient seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois is an older woman in Cook County with either severe fibromyalgia or cancer. That's the picture revealed Thursday in a new report to the Legislature from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The report shows more than one-third of 3,300 completed applications submitted through June 30 came from patients in Cook County. Counties with the next highest number of applicants - Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane - also are in northern Illinois.

CHICAGO - A public hearing will be held next month to hear evidence for adding eight medical conditions to the list of what can be treated in the Illinois medical marijuana pilot program. Anyone who wants to present evidence in favor of adding one of the eight conditions must submit a statement to the Illinois Department of Public Health by email by 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 or by mail postmarked by Sept. 28. Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has so far rejected recommendations to add new conditions to the list. But an advisory board is still scheduled to hold its public hearing on Oct.

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio