August 15, 2019: Legislation Expands Provisions for Administration of Medical Cannabis

An amendment to the Illinois School Code specifies that schools must allow school nurses and school administrators to administer medical cannabis products to students. The measure, signed by the Governor on Monday, also provides that school districts may authorize students to self-administer medical cannabis under the direct supervision of a school nurse or school administrator.

Public Act 101-0370 goes into effect January 1, 2020. It specifies that schools must allow a school nurse or school administrator to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student who is a registered qualifying patient when the student is: on school premises; at school-sponsored activities; and before or after normal school activities. This includes before-school and after-school care on school-operated property or while the student is on a school bus.

Public Act 101-0370 also specifies that a school district may authorize the self-administration of a medical cannabis infused product by a student who is a registered qualifying patient, if the self-administration takes place under direct supervision of a school nurse or school administrator. The Act updates the School Code to define self-administration to mean “a student’s discretionary use of his or her medical cannabis infused product.” All medical cannabis infused products must be stored with the school nurse in a manner consistent with storage of other student medication at the school.

Before allowing a school nurse or school administrator to administer a medical cannabis infused product or allowing a student’s self-administration, the student’s parent/guardian must provide written authorization that specifies when and under what circumstances the medical cannabis infused product must be administered. The parent/guardian also must provide copies of the registry identification cards for the student (as a registered qualifying patient) and the parent/guardian (as a registered designated caregiver). The authorization allowing a student’s self-administration must be renewed each school year.

Public Act 101-0370 also provides that the Illinois State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health must develop a training curriculum to instruct school nurses and school administrators on the administration of medical cannabis infused products. The training must be completed prior to the administration of a medical cannabis product and annually thereafter.

Additionally, Public Act 101-0370 amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act to state that a school nurse or school administrator is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or civil penalty for administering or assisting a student in self-administering a medical cannabis infused product.

The full text of Public Act 101-0370 is available here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/101/PDF/101-0370.pdf

In a related bill action, the Governor on Friday signed legislation that expanded and made permanent Illinois’ medical cannabis program. Public Act 101-0363, which is effective immediately, adds eleven new conditions to the list of debilitating medical conditions eligible under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act. Those conditions now include: autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, anorexia nervosa, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

The full text of Public Act 101-0363 is available here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/101/PDF/101-0363.pdf

If you have any questions about Public Act 101-0370 or Public Act 101-0363 and how these laws may impact your current policies, procedures, or practices, please do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys by e-mail or by phone at (630) 313-4750.