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On August 1, 2018, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into effect Public Act 100-0660, commonly referred to as “Ashley’s Law.”  The law is named after an 11-year old student from a northwest suburban school district who was prohibited from taking medical cannabis at school for her seizures.

Ashley’s Law, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming support, requires school districts to authorize a parent or guardian or any other individual registered with the Department of Public Health as a designated caregiver of a student who is a qualifying patient to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus.   To comply with the Act, both the student and the parent or guardian must have registry identification cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

Pursuant to the Act, after administering the product, the parent or guardian or other individual shall remove the product from the school premises or the school bus.   Please note, however, that the Act does not require school staff members to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student.

A medical cannabis infused product may not be administered to a qualifying student if, on the opinion of the school district, it would create a disruption in the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students.  Likewise, a school district may not authorize the use of a medical cannabis infused product if the district would lose federal funding as a result of the authorization.

School districts must now adopt a policy to implement Ashley’s Law.