llinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law a measure that stands to create a new class of medical marijuana users. Here’s a look at what the change will mean:
1. More access …
The new law allows medical marijuana to be used as a replacement for opioid pain medication. That means anyone whose doctor would write them a prescription for pain pills like OxyContin or Vicodin could be certified for medical marijuana. Eventually, patients will be able to take their doctor certifications directly to a dispensary, complete their registration there and begin purchasing cannabis, and state health officials will review the registration later to make sure it meets the requirements of the law. But state officials say dispensary computer systems need to be upgraded before that will be possible.
2. … and easier access.
For other medical cannabis patients — those who have one of about 40 qualifying serious and often chronic conditions — the application process will no longer include background checks and fingerprinting. And patients will be able to get provisional approval to buy marijuana while their applications are being processed. [Read more at The Chicago Tribune]