The Rauner administration on Thursday shot down an advisory board's recommendation to include 11 new health conditions eligible for treatment under Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program.
Created under former Gov. Pat Quinn, the advisory board recommended in May expanding the qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana treatment to include osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, migraine headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other illnesses.
In addition to rejecting the board's recommendation, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday vetoed legislation that also sought to add PTSD to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana treatment. Rauner said in his veto message that the medical marijuana program is in its early stages and shouldn't be expanded before it can be evaulated.
"The pilot program is moving forward, but remains in its early stage. Cultivation centers are just beginning to grow their crops, and the first dispensary was licensed at the end of August," the governor said. "It is therefore premature to expand the pilot program before any patient has been served and before we have had the chance to evaluate it."
"No patients have yet been served, and, consequently, the state has not had the opportunity to evaluate the benefits and costs of the pilot program or determine areas for improvement or even whether to extend the program beyond its pilot period," Rauner added.