Illinois Senate Bill 2341 identifies synthetic forms of marijuana as Schedule I drugs under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Drugs categorized as piperazines as well as synthetic cannabinoids are both listed in the legislation. Piperazines are synthetic forms of ecstasy.
Some blends of K2 and spice were made in a way that skirted around Illinois law, so lawmakers fixed that loophole with the new legislation, Fox 32 Chicago notes. Synthetic cannabinoid use was linked to 4 deaths and more than 100 other illnesses in the spring of 2018. The synthetic cannabinoids were laced with rat poison.
With the new law, anyone making or possessing K2, spice or any other form of fake marijuana will face a Class 3 or Class 4 felony.
Illinois will also be implementing Senate Bill 336, the Alternatives to Opioids Act, on January 31. This allows people with opioid prescriptions to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card. Verification of a medical condition by a licensed physician must accompany the application. The temporary license will be valid for 90-days.
Melany Arnold of IDPH said, “[Opioid patients] will be registered, either online or by establishing an account, or at a dispensary, and have immediate access to medical cannabis.”
There is a backlog of medical marijuana patient applications in the state, but the new law will help those waiting for approvals to gain access sooner. Provisional registrations will be made available while waiting for a permanent medical marijuana card. If, for some reason, the permanent medical marijuana card does not arrive in the 90-day provisional period, a 90-day renewal can be granted.