Articles Posted in Medical Marijuana

The new Illinois laws legalizing cannabis has a benefit to old stoners – expungement of criminal records.

Among the several provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act which takes effect on January 1 are provisions that include some dramatic criminal justice reforms.  The most important of these provisions are the expungement provisions for certain past cannabis-related criminal convictions.

Chicago Business Lawyer

Illinois laws now permit expungement of prior cannabis related crimes.

Legal Marijuana Shouldn’t Mean Dazed and Confused Workers!

Starting on January 1 consumers will be able to buy marijuana for recreational use from licensed sellers.   Pot users will no longer need to worry about fines or jail time – but employees will need to pay attention to their employers’ policies about drug screenings and the use of cannabis at work.

Employers should consider how they want to handle the legalization of cannabis in terms of workplace policies, written guidelines and staff training on the many issues that employers will be facing.  Employers should take the time to review Section 10-50 of the “Illinois Cannabis Control Act” to see what protections they do and do not have.  Among these are:

Employers:  Be cool with Pot Policies!

With Illinois adopting medical marijuana and looking to legalize recreational marijuana, lots of questions will be arise about what policies employers should adopt.  Imagine workers passing a joint (or a bag of spiked gummy bears) around the water cooler or sharing a joint after work.  Will employees be allowed to bring their baggie into work?  And what about refusing to hire people who test positive for weed.  These are murky waters we are wading into and it’s happening across the country.   For now, it’s probably wisest for most Illinois employers to take the high road when it comes to disciplining or refusing hire those who smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Illinois employers are allowed to implement a drug-free workplace policy that prohibits employees from possessing or using marijuana in the workplace and/or being impaired during working hours. And those provisions can apply even to those who hold medical marijuana cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, signed into law by former Governor Pat Quinn in 2013.    However, only those employers that risk losing either a federal contract or federal funding for hiring those who use marijuana are permitted to discipline, or refuse to hire, a person who has a medical marijuana card or fails a pre-employment drug test because they use medical marijuana. The latter provision addresses the fact that marijuana stays in a person’s system up to a month after use.

Aerial-fall-Lincolnpark-300x158Blockchain and Chicago Businesses

In September of 2015, the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society’s World Economic Forum[1] predicted that by 2025, 10% of GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain related technology.  If you are a Chicago business owner and you are unsure what that means or how it might affect your company, you want to speak to a Chicago business attorney as soon as possible to learn all that you can about this rapidly growing technology.

What Is Blockchain Technology?

lllinois’ Medical Marijuana Program Act goes into full effect on January 1, 2015.

jointIt may not be the top item on your “things to deal with in the New Year” list, but if you are a small business owner or corporate manager Illinois’ new Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act may turn out to be an unwelcome part of your professional life.  Originally passed in 2013, 410 ILCS 130 was partially rolled out Jan 1, 2014 but will become fully functional when the clock strikes midnight December 31.  Interestingly, the Act is scheduled to be repealed in 2018, probably about the time the kinks have been worked out in terms of real world implementation.

Far short of legalizing marijuana, these statutes authorize a four year pilot program allowing the distribution of cannabis for medical use under rigidly proscribed circumstances. The Act provides for legal treatment of pain and suffering for specific debilitating afflictions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, lupus and residual limb pain. Medical cannabis can only be prescribed by a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under Medical Practice Act of 1987 and the issuer is required to have a controlled substances license under Article III of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. There are also numerous provisions regulating the cultivation and distribution of this new ancient pain remedy.