Illinois’ 103rd General Assembly spring session has been extended until May 31 to complete the budget and bills still in the works, including the cannabis omnibus. During the last few days, politicians and stakeholders have been continuously adjusting the omnibus until a draft was agreed upon yesterday. The new omnibus draft was attached to Senate Bill 1559, the Access Affordable Insulin Act, which sets forth provisions concerning an insulin urgent-need program. SB1559 passed the Senate on March 30 and is now in the House.
Yesterday, the third-reading and final-action deadline for the cannabis omnibus also was extended to May 31. Until Illinois’ budget is complete, the cannabis omnibus has more time for negotiations and expected final amendments before the bill is brought to the floor for a final vote. One of the reported controversial pieces holding up a final omnibus draft is the effort to ban Delta-8 included as part of the cannabis omnibus package. The Senate and House adjourned until Wednesday.
The current changes and deletions to the omnibus draft include the following:
Article 1 pertains to craft growers and canopy space. The amendments include increasing craft growers canopy space to 14,000 square feet (from 5,000), placing a cap on principal officers of 15,000 square feet of canopy space until a study is completed, and giving the Illinois Department of Agriculture the authority to expand and reduce canopy space based on market need, craft grower capacity, and the licensee’s history of compliance or noncompliance.
Article 3 adds drive-through and curbside operations for Illinois dispensaries. Items included were technical changes to the wording so the law guarantees all medical patients are covered (opioid alternative pilot program).
Article 5 permits telehealth medical exams for licensed health care providers instead of requiring a physical examination by deleting the line, “The physical examination required by this Act may not be performed by remote means, including telemedicine.”
Article 11 added the line: “The Department has the authority to adopt rules and policies prohibiting the use of pesticides during the flowering stage.” Last minute changes were made to clarify that “policies” are subject to rulemaking.
Article 13 places a moratorium on New Transporter License and includes updated language from SB307. Other articles that remained in the omnibus include standardize employee badging, vault definition, updated HVAC requirements, deferral for transporting license fees, additional year for conditional adult use dispensing organization license holders, and the Section 280e tax deduction.
Deletions from the cannabis omnibus include changing the way the weight of illegal cannabis is weighed by subtracting the legal cannabis weight, licenses for testing facilities, packaging standards, transporting depots, and BLS Region transfer. For more details on these articles, visit here.
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