Changes to IL law allowing medical cannabis as opioid alternative set to go into effect

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(An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Illinois was requiring the state’s medical marijuana industry workers to obtain certifications. That provision was taken out of Senate Bill 1707.)

Illinois will see some new wrinkles to its medical marijuana laws this year that could have some effect on how MMJ firms do business in the state.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Alternative Opioids Act, signed into law in August by Gov. Bruce Rauner, allows the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to highly addictive opioids.
  • There is a requirement that patients in the state have doctors’ notes confirming their conditions qualify them to use MMJ as an opioid alternative, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. So, beginning as soon as Jan. 31, qualifying patients will need a doctor’s signoff before they can apply for a 90-day medical card through the state’s new Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.
  • The opioid program is expected to provide an enormous boost to the state’s MMJ program.