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Illinois Cannabis Activity Update

Cannabis Law Blog

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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.

As a result of this order, the IDPH must add PTSD to their approved condition list for medical cannabis treatment within 30 days of the June 28th court decision. It should also be noted that legislation passed in May by the Illinois General Assembly and pending Governor Rauner’s final approval would also add PTSD to the list of the state’s approved conditions. That bill, which was previously discussed at length on this blog, is Senate Bill 10 and would extend the state’s medical cannabis pilot program through July 1, 2020, among other changes.

In related Illinois cannabis industry news, the state’s medical cannabis director has recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities in the private sector. Joe Wright resigned and will be replaced by Jack Campbell who currently serves as the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau Chief for Medicinal Plants under the state’s medical cannabis program. Campbell comes from a long-time law enforcement career primarily serving with the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department in Central Illinois.