Illinois Becomes 20th State To Sanction Therapeutic Use Of Cannabis

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 thoughts


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

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. As a crohns sufferer. This is amazing news for me. Yes it sucks that its not legal for everyone. But at least its a step in the right direction!

  10. Congrats on your decision to make safe access to cannabis medications legal. The prohibitions still claim their, “head in the ground” attitude to be the future of personal health care decisions in the 21st century. When will the crippling grip of our police culture open their eyes and minds to the degradative perspective of punitive over education in dealing with deviant behavior? Why are we so afraid of speaking our minds about things that our authority figures claim exclusive knowledge and control over? It is our bodies and their profit margins. We do have choices over their damands.

  11. This is nice to see, even as a pilot program. Many of the states that have yet to legalize medical cannabis, do not have an initiative or referendum process. This is the situation New York is in, totally at the mercy of Senate leadership. Despite citizen approval for medical cannabis being at 82% in New York, there is no process to force leadership to comply to their will.

  12. I see where they are going to identify Medical marijuana users on their driver’s license. I’m guessing every time these people are stopped by police, it will be assumed the driver have been using MMJ. This is full of potential problems.

  13. Step in the right direction, yes.
    But it still pisses me off that people can’t grow, smoke/eat/vape, sell flowers without getting arrested. It’s bull shit.

  14. Yes, it’s a step in the right direction but patients and caregivers will have to be fingerprinted? My rheumatalogist prescribes Vicodin round the clock for me but I don’t have to be fingerprinted for that!!!

  15. The wheel is turning finally, and it’s gaining speed. Hopefully soon this ridicules, irrational, unjust, violation of the freedom of religion, ignorant, misdirect racial laws to deport Mexican. will be over. Cannabis was only called Marijuana to demonize Mexican migrants. Please people “EDUCATE THY NEIGBOR” and we will succeed.

  16. While there is room for improvement, be patient and stay involved. We still have a ways to go in Colorado here, but we are making progress… The future says is will be legal everywhere in the US, the government is a mess in this arena… 5years or 10years??? As time goes on, we are still being amazed at the new health benefits being found for this AMAZING PLANT. 420 Forever!

  17. yeah! but i look and see ohio normal, same old crap! some people went to the capital and spoke how bad pot is. i guess that they never dealt with severe ptsd,or constant pain as i have. i just wish it could be legal for all of us, too many side effects from RXs

  18. my Dr. said i was a good canidate for medical marijuana 3 years ago. you can’t grow your own complete bulls&#t they (ILL.) just wants to give us the hose job agian,not that we all know is comming.Federal agents will be pulling there youwhos incriminating citizens for using or growing a plant that helps citizens,or for use as an alternative to being a drunk, it is a smarter alternative to drinking.,But 80 years ago this Moron harry a ASSSLICKER(sorry couldn’t controll myself)started a invisible WAR ON DRUGS,(i can see the heavy drugs)or this campaghne in 1937 who started a racest campaighne agianst mexicans for smoking there weed after work. jeez, he started telling people threw refer madness( the fear in people, bad drug, yeah right.)that it made people insane and they would commit murder, they found out that it was just the oppisite results,making people relaxed , and overdosing made them veg out and watch the boob tube all day. 1972 the Schaeffer Report was handed to old Gerald ford himself, with out even a glance he threw it in the trash can, and said,” were going to have a war on drugs anyways. the plot thickens…. to be continued…. next is Jimmy Carter days and how he fubared are freedom once agian…..

  19. May I quote the Funkadelics?
    Oh it feels good, oh it feels good. Aqua boogie baby!
    Keep it rolling my friends. Another win for the good guys.

  20. Well, unlike here in Indiana where our idiot legislature is definitely going in the wrong direction, this cant be called that, just not sure how to classify this…

    I mean its ALL STATE RAN.

    “22 state-licensed cannabis cultivation centers and up to 60 state-licensed dispensaries”

    “Under the law, patients must obtain cannabis only from a state-licensed facility”

    This is one of the most corrupt states in the Union, and with how poor their Economy is doing a lot of blue states are doing this PURELY for the Tax Revenues, and Illinois is no different, they want it all…no private growers allowed?

    Its a great step for those with Insurance needing it medicinally, I give it that is a step in the right directions, the Illinois govts, and other state govts with FULL control of the Industry, not so much

  21. It’s been a while since ive thought of this state being part of anything in the bigger picture. I have tossed and turned at night wishing mmj would be regulated in this state , however i wish they would have let it go with the name political cannabis , because when you tell a Dr who take 8 years(+) of schooling and gets it compressed by some politician who only needs to be put in office every 4 that they can call it medical but with all the red tape of law then im a litle lost on why its call medical is all.

    I am glad that the issue of cannabis is now going to be viewed as a real situation for the sick, it just agravates me to know its also a preventative, but this state wont have any other views on it(politicaly).

    To all who leaned on this issue to get it passed , I tip my hat to you, and to those who sit in the corner acting like you have maintained keeping us safe by putting the innocent behind bars and taking away all their credibility becasue you thought it was the right thing to do………shame on you, now that your going to have to look these new legal cannabis smoking citizens in the face and see who they really are, and see that this whole time they were the dr and teachers and city workers and etc……

    Being happy for the win , just wish the Dr.s who are resonsible for healing and prescribing meds to the sick for pain managment could have had a little more to do with the passing of this bill…….
    maybe that is the next step……helping them write in the choices that they went to school to help the people , not just the ones the government decided to allow to be helped.

    as always
    thanks for reading

  22. 5 more states, and it’s 50% of the states, plus D.C. and how ever many territories, i.e. Puerto Rico, Guam, that go at least MMJ. True, some states want all the profits, keeping out private grows and the private sector. I can see that wall falling after all the hard work is done to get the feds out of the way and then Big Business will want in with their genetic engineering of the sacred herb. That’s the time to knock down the wall federally for small business and private grows nationwide. As for right now, greed and corruption rule the day when it comes to cannabis: greedy governments for MMJ and for making money off prohibition at the same time. It’s like Dr. Evil of those old Austin Powers’ movies is influencing things. Maybe it’s time for Michael Meyers to resurrect that character and team up with Cheech and Chong, all in the same movie. Sounds like a blockbuster to me.

  23. 20 states = 40%. It won’t be long until we hit the 50% mark. Progress may be slow but I believe that all states will eventually pass some sort of MM law.

  24. come PA, its a war zone between democrats and repubs here. we all need to start registering libertarian

  25. it’s great to read all the replies. means we are heading in the right direction. ohio needs to be next! we have the highest possession amt for anywhere! but i still can’t figure, says i can have 3.5 ozs. where and how do i get it? ha, everyone is scared shitless. i’ll be 60 next month, been smokin since i was 19, but its’s been a glut. i have ptsd, and physical that with meds i sleep aaalll the time, i need some! i love my country, but i got better drugs when i lived in canada. the poloticians are ruining OUR country. my country right or wrong but!!!

  26. oh forgot one thing why is it so hard to figure? when they? take polls how is it no one ever asked me, or possibly you, if you smoked. if the truth comes out the real rate is about 85-95% are using or will use. remember all these old grey and white hair mf’s they are running OUR country right to ruin. we must march on.

  27. Just curious on the 22 grow sites?
    Can anyone point me in the right direction for apply for a permit? I understand its a tuff battle to be in, no one ever gets anywhere unless they try. So I would like the chance to become part of this in my state of Illinois.
    Any information on how to or where to go for this would be great, also would like to point out i know nothing about the bussiness,but it seems neither does this state.
    Im also guessing since you have to be finger printed by the FBI that it should be easy to obtain a bussiness loan from any bank that is FDIC because the feds are involved in this now so they must have A BIGGER BED THEN FIRST THOUGHT OF.
    I would just like to be a part of this and it seems there is going to be problems with it from the begining of it all……

    as always
    thanks for reading

  28. If they’d done this 4 years ago I wouldn’t of had my doors kicked in, my home/possessions/pets destroyed/stolen/abused, my career ended, my house foreclosed on. At least it forced me to leave the state over what ended up being a misdemeanor possession charge. I wonder what the MEGS (they pretend to be the “Midwest Engineering Group” in the northwest suburbs) fascist will do for Friday night fun now.

  29. For people looking for doctor recommendations, there is an app for that! Simply called Marijuana Doctors! It knows where you are and will give you a list of doctors. I’m in Illinois, so even though I’m over qualified for a RX, I’m still leery about how liberal it is. I’ll try the doctor list soon and let you know. Hopefully there will be a day when it’s legal for everyone! Doesn’t the government realize how much money they can make!!

  30. Just think of all the tax money the government could make in Iowa. The north has a lot of MS people, if it is not legal it is going to be used anyway tax free. Iowa should merge with Ill. It helps my MS and catracs.

  31. Iowa should merge with Ill. and make it legal. With all the Meds I am on my insurance would save a lot of money, even though the pharmacies might not like it and go out of business. They should prohibit alcohol because it is the number one killer, people blackout and do not know what they are doing. They fight the police and other people, and kill. cannabis at least keeps a person sane and they know what they are doing.

  32. ok! just was reading all the comments and things… I saw someone say there’s an app to find Dr’s .. I thought you had to have an established relationship – with Dr that prescribes!? we have a great pain management Dr .. haven’t discussed this with her… but my primary and I talked MM this year… after I was worned if M was found in a required drop for RX Narcotics.. I could not get my RX Any longer… because the States threatening prescribing Dr’s of RX Narcotics.. their license would be taken from them … I told her if I could afford $400 oz for quality M a month… I wouldn’t Need the Narcotics!!! well… I thought I read you have to have an Application .. to take to Dr to get MM!?!?! How/Where does one get this Application!?!?! thanks! I can’t get out and lobby… but I do what I can on fb with ..posting All legitimate Materials on the Benefits from MM for kids and ppl period!!!! at least its a step up… still reforms that need made… the State could still gain revenue from private growers.. and guessing they’d make More $$$ that way than with the State Controlled Dispenserory!?! been watching PBS America Reformed Montana… what a battle… it seems to me from the 60 minute special ‘Rocky Mountain High’ … Colorado Is doing things right!!! I believe all 50 states should follow in their steps… thank you! Blessings!!! will see what happens ~ lori

  33. here you go quinn said he did it for the Vets im a Vet dont have cancer HIV,AIDS,Dementia,or croans disease or any of the serious issues listed and neither do any of the other VETS suffering PTSD night terrors and a slu of other psycological issues as so do my brothers and we cant get the help we need or deserve because our conditions are not listed

  34. How do I get a license to cultivate cannibas legally in illinois?

    [Editor’s note: Contact one of your NORML chapters in IL for localized info re new medical cannabis laws there.]

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