In defiance of previous recommendations by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board of Illinois to expand the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program to extend access to medical Cannabis and Cannabis products, State Governor Bruce Rauner’s Public Health Department has to date refused to budge according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. The report goes on to say that when asked for comment, Governor Rauner cited the necessity of further testing of the efficacy of medical Cannabis in the treatment of these disorders before he would be prepared to expand the existing program to include any conditions not already a part of the program.
Who is the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board?
The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board is a state panel put in place to provide input directly from medical professionals and includes patients, nurses and doctors who are suffering from or involved in the treatment of a wide range of ailments whose symptoms in their opinion would show a response to the use of medical Cannabis for relief from their symptoms.
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So who does qualify for treatment with Medical Cannabis in terms of the Program?
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act went into effect on January 1, 2014 with the specific aim of protecting patients suffering from debilitating conditions and chronic pain using alternative treatment in the form of medical Cannabis – and the medical professionals that help them – from arrest, prosecution and the forfeiting of their property by the state, while regulating the approved supply of medical Cannabis to patients through a network of state-approved medical Cannabis dispensaries, of which there are currently some 38 licensed throughout the state.
As the name of the Act suggests, the aim of the program is a compassionate one, and there is a list of 39 approved debilitating conditions that qualify a patient for treatment under the umbrella of the program. There is also a mechanism in place for residents of Illinois to petition the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to have to have access to medical Cannabis and Cannabis derived products like Cannabis oil and High CBD Hemp oil for debilitating conditions that they may be suffering from that are not already approved for treatment under the Pilot Program.
Which conditions have been rejected by Rauner for treatment with Medical Cannabis?
The list of debilitating conditions reported as being recommended for treatment with medical Cannabis or Cannabis derived products by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board and repeatedly rejected by Rauner’s public health agency include autism, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, neuropathy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, chronic pain due to trauma, chronic post-operative and intractable pain, migraines and osteoarthritis.
The Board has once again recommended these conditions for consideration by the Director of the Public Health Department along with Type 1 diabetes and Panic Disorder, and are awaiting the outcome of their recommendations. With the rejection of the recommendations of the Board as recently as the 29th of January this year by the Director of Public Health, Dr Nirav D. Shah, it seems unlikely that people suffering from these 12 conditions will have access to relief in the immediate future.