It’s not just recreational cannabis that Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be considering, he’ll also have a measure on his desk to make Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program permanent.

There was broad bipartisan support to make Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program permanent, thanks to the success stories of those suffering debilitating conditions finding relief with the medicine.

Senate Bill 2023 makes the pilot program that’s set to expire next summer permanent. It also adds Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and physician assistants to the medical professionals who can certify patients and awards the five remaining medical dispensaries with the same equity standards as the recreational cannabis program that passed.

There are 40 conditions already eligible for the medical cannabis program, including from AIDS, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, seizures, traumatic brain injuries. State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, said the measure makes additional medical conditions eligible, including autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet's Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

Morgan said the measure protects and stabilizes the medical cannabis program.

The bill found broad bipartisan support when it passed the Senate 52 to 2 and the House 98 to 3. It next goes to the governor.

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, said his mother isn’t well.

“She suffers from a variety of conditions,” Carroll said. “She was addicted to many opiates over the years and then she discovered medical cannabis and I have my mother back now.”

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said he opposed the pilot program at first. However, after hearing the success stories of medical cannabis helping people with debilitating conditions, he said he's come full circle.

“This product, it has brought them comfort and the ability to have a healthful and full life,” Durkin said.

Durkin said he’s convinced the program is worthwhile and administered in a professional manner.

The full list of qualifying medical conditions under the existing program:

Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease

HIV/AIDS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Arnold-Chiari malformation

Cancer

Causalgia

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Crohn’s disease

CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)

Dystonia

Fibrous Dysplasia

Glaucoma

Hepatitis C

Hydrocephalus

Hydromyelia

Interstitial cystitis

Lupus

Multiple Sclerosis

Muscular Dystrophy

Myasthenia Gravis

Myoclonus

Nail-patella syndrome

Neurofibromatosis

Parkinson’s disease

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Residual limb pain

Rheumatoid arthritis

Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)

Severe fibromyalgia

Sjogren’s syndrome

Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)

Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity

Spinocerebellar ataxia

Syringomyelia

Tarlov cysts

Tourette syndrome

Traumatic brain injury

Cachexia/wasting syndrome

Senate Bill 2023 adds autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet's Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.