SUMMARY: Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on August 1, 2013 signed legislation, House Bill 1, making Illinois the 20th state to authorize the physician-recommended use of cannabis for qualified patients. 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 took 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.