In one of our last articles of the year, we reported that Illinois was set to change its legalities on cannabis curbside pickup for medical patients after the New Year. According to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR), “Beginning January 1, 2023, the variance that permits medical cannabis dispensaries to store and dispense all cannabis from the restricted area will expire.” Today, IDFPR issued another variance that would “continue to allow Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to dispense medical cannabis outside of the restricted and limited access areas for an additional 31 days beyond the previous expiration” of December 31, 2022.
This variant, issued by IDFPR Director Cecilia Abundis, is only a one-month placeholder to extend legal curbside pickup in Illinois and not a substitute for long-term change in the law. During the month-long extension, Illinois Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Bob Morgan will be working to find a permanent solution to legalities of curbside pickup.
Pursuant to the authority granted to me in the provisions of 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1290.610, I hereby grant a Variance on behalf of 280 licensed Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to the provisions of 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1290.410(c)(5), which states in part: “during hours of operation, store and dispense all cannabis from the restricted access area….”
On September 30, 2022, I issued a variance to 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1290.410(c)(5), which is set to expire October 31, 2022. The purpose of this Variance is to vary 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1290.410(c)(5) to continue to allow Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to dispense medical cannabis outside of the restricted and limited access areas for an additional 61 days beyond the previous expiration. This Variance shall allow Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to provide service for medical cannabis patients, OAPP participants, provisional patients, and designated caregivers outside the limited access area until December 31, 2022. Any Medical Cannabis Dispensary offering direct-to-car service or sales outside the limited access area must have written procedures to ensure Dispensary Agents will verify two forms of identification before providing the medical cannabis to a patient, OAPP participant, provisional patient or to a designated caregiver. Medical Cannabis Dispensaries are permitted to modify their policies and procedures regarding dispensing to accommodate this Variance.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned Rule, this Variance is in no way intended to waive or modify any statute, rule, or regulation concerning the dispensing of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries. All 280 licensed Medical Cannabis Dispensaries shall be subject to compliance with all additional rules and regulations contained in the Act and in the rules promulgated thereto or their successor.
I have determined that the provision from which this Variance is granted is not statutorily mandated; no party will be injured by the granting of this Variance; and the rules from which this Variance is granted would, in this particular case, be unreasonable.
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