State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton)
SPRINGFIELD — A series of updates to Illinois’ medical marijuana program were signed into law Monday.
State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored this follow-up law and the 2013 law that created the program.
“A program as big and new as medical marijuana needs to be fine-tuned to ensure that it is safe, effective and free of any kind of abuses,” Haine said. “As the program is being implemented, we are learning what adjustments are needed.”
The new law allows the state regulators to impose additional penalties, including fines, for violation of the existing law. Originally, agencies could only revoke a violator’s license.
The law also revises criminal background checks for patients, caregivers and anyone involved in cultivation centers and dispensaries: owners, investors and employees. It ensures that applicants’ fingerprints are checked against both state and federal databases.
The updates also included a guarantee that patients charged with driving under the influence of medical cannabis will have their patient card revoked and their license suspended, just as if they were charged with a DUI.
The Illinois State Police, Secretary of State, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Health and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation developed and supported these updates based on their work implementing the program.
The new law took effect immediately.