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Cannabis Law Blog

Posts by Scott L. Selinger

Cannabis Law Blog

News and analysis focusing on the full spectrum of cannabis-related issues facing businesses, investors, financial institutions and all levels of government throughout the United States

Photo of Cannabis Law Blog Scott L. Selinger
Government Policy Advisor
sselinger@dykema.com
217-494-8040
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Showing 8 posts by Scott L. Selinger.

Illinois Cannabis Update

Action has been heating up in Illinois recently regarding cannabis regulation that culminated in legislative hearings this week centered on the prospect of potential legalization of recreational cannabis use in the state. On Wednesday, a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee met to take testimony from Barbara Brohl who is the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. The hearing was in response to recent legislative initiatives that have been introduced in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly to authorize the regulation and taxation of cannabis for recreational use. Brohl provided information and took questions from committee members regarding Colorado's experience with recreational use sales. Among the highlights of her testimony were specifics regarding the Colorado regulatory and tax structure for recreational use cannabis as well as what she perceived as her state's successes and struggles with implementation of this process. Significant debate was had between Brohl and committee legislators regarding the state's tax structure and the resulting revenues generated for various Colorado state services. This discussion played out against the backdrop of Illinois' ongoing state budget crisis and lawmaker's continued efforts to find additional revenue streams. Another focus of the debate centered on the ongoing cannabis banking conundrum that has caused significant difficulty for cannabis businesses and their customers from utilizing traditional banking services across the country. Further committee debate focused on legislator's concerns with reports of increased emergency room visits in Colorado and other recreational use states as well as concerns with DUI enforcement and restrictions on access to minors. Rounding out the testimony provided to the committee this week was a representative of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) who gave a national update on which states have authorized recreational use of cannabis and their preliminary findings. One particularly interesting note from this testimony was that all states that now allow recreational use have done so via ballot initiative and not through direct legislative authorization. Most Illinois cannabis observers agree that direct legislative authorization will be necessary here due to the state's notoriously difficult ballot initiative process.  Read More ›

Governor Rauner Officially Signs Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Extension Bill

Quietly and without fanfare following the passage of Illinois’ “Stop-Gap” State Budget on June 30th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 10, which will allow for the extension of the state's Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act through July 1, 2020. The program was previously set to sunset on January 1, 2018. Among the changes in SB 10 is clarification language in the Act regarding the "lawful" and "unlawful" use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. It also expands the list of approved "debilitating medical conditions" to include post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Read More ›

Illinois Cannabis Activity Update

A flurry of activity has occurred in Illinois over the last few days including a judicial order to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of approved conditions for medical cannabis treatment. The judicial ruling came in response to a lawsuit previously filed in Cook County Circuit Court that claimed the state’s public health director conducted a “private investigation” that was “constitutionally inappropriate” in the process of rejecting the Illinois Cannabis Advisory Board’s unanimous recommendation to add PTSD to the list of approved medical conditions. The judge further ruled that Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav Shah’s rejection of PTSD was based on a standard of medical evidence that “appears nowhere in the Act or the Department’s rules” and that it was a violation of the plaintiff’s due process rights.This ruling could have implications on other pending medical cannabis “approved condition” lawsuits in Illinois, including those calling for the inclusion of chronic post-operative pain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, intractable pain and autism. Read More ›

Key Takeaways From the Third Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo

Last week, two of our Dykema Cannabis Law Group professionals attended the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in Oakland, California. After attending numerous seminars and meeting with countless industry insiders, here are their key takeaways from the conference: Read More ›

Illinois Legislature Approves Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Extension

The Illinois General Assembly approved legislation this week that will allow for the extension of the state's Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act through July 1, 2020. The program was previously set to sunset on January 1, 2018. Among the changes in SB 10 is clarification language in the Act regarding the "lawful" and "unlawful" use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. It also expands the list of approved "debilitating medical conditions" to include post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Read More ›

Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Approved in Illinois General Assembly

This week, the Illinois Legislature passed legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. SB 2228, which is linked below, is similar to legislation passed by the General Assembly last year that Governor Rauner ultimately issued an amendatory veto on. This version, however, incorporates several suggested changes that the Governor wanted. He signaled this week that he may be amenable to signing SB 2228 into law upon final review and confirmation of his requested amendatory veto changes. Read More ›

Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Extension Surfaces

Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 346 in the Illinois General Assembly that would extend the sunset date for the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act from January 1, 2018, until January 1, 2020. The new measure would expand the number of patients a designated caregiver can assist under certain conditions. It would also make changes to the language governing the verbiage of the qualifying condition “written certifications” issued by physicians in an effort to ease their concerns with appearing to vouch for the therapeutic and palliative effects of medical cannabis.  Read More ›

Recent Medical Marijuana Developments in Illinois

Medical marijuana has had a short but turbulent history in Illinois, and recent developments have only added to the disarray in the Land of Lincoln.

When former Governor Pat Quinn, considered by many to be an advocate for medical cannabis, signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (the “Act”) into law on August 1, 2013, Illinois became the 23rd state in the nation to enact medical marijuana legislation. The Act created a four-year medical marijuana pilot program, which allows individuals suffering from one of 39 defined medical conditions or diseases to receive a registry identification card from the Department of Public Health and to generally receive up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days. Unlike many other states’ medical marijuana laws, the Act does not allow patients or their caregivers to cultivate cannabis, instead requiring individuals to purchase their marijuana from one of up to 60 licensed dispensaries in the State, all of whom are to be supplied by the up to 22 licensed cultivation centers. Read More ›