A close-up of a marijuana plant at a Minnesota medical marijuana facility in May 2015. (Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune via AP)

Illinois House has spoken: Expansion OK’d for state’s medical marijuana program

Lawmakers voted 86-27 recently to advance the measure, which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner supports. It now goes to the Senate, where it's expected to pass.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House has approved a plan to expand the state’s medical marijuana pilot program by two-and-a-half years and add post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the list of allowed conditions.

Update: Illinois medical marijuana expansion just needs Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature

Lawmakers voted 86-27 recently to advance the measure, which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner supports. It now goes to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Illinois’ four-year pilot program is set to sunset at the end of 2017. Under the bill, it will continue to July 1, 2020.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang is the bill sponsor. He says the changes are in the best interest of patients and will help ensure the viability of the program.

The program started in 2014 but the first medical cannabis sales didn’t occur until November 2015.