Do you know how the state’s pilot medical marijuana law will affect you and other members of your community?

You can get plenty of useful information from a September article in the D.R. Legal News, written by Lisa Harms Hartzler of Sorling Northrup Attorneys.  Hartzler examines a variety of aspects of the law that took effect Jan. 1, known as the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

Though you may hunger for more of her insights, you can whet your appetite with these seven tidbits:

Fact number 7 – Local governments can’t unreasonably interfere with the cultivation, dispensing and use of medical marijuana. However, the act allows reasonable local zoning ordinances that do not conflict with the law.

Fact 6 – Illinois law prohibits the location of a growing facility within 2,500 feet of a school or day care or residential zone.

Fact 5 – The medical marijuana business is expensive. A cultivation center state permit costs $200,000 and applicants must obtain a $2 million surety bond or escrow account. Add to this the costs of staffing, utilities and locating a facility for growing and processing.

Fact 4 – To legally use medical marijuana, individuals must have one of 40 debilitating diseases and obtain an ID card from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Fact 3 – Landlords and property managers cannot refuse to lease or penalize a person who is legally authorized to purchase and use marijuana for medical purposes.  However, landlords and property managers can prohibit marijuana smoking consistent with existing smoke-free laws.

Fact 2 – Employers can’t refuse to hire an individual because he or she is a registered medical marijuana patient.

Fact 1 – Even with the change in Illinois law, the use of medical marijuana in “public” places is illegal.