SENATE WEEK IN REVIEW: September 9-13, 2019

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, recreational cannabis sales will be legal in Illinois. With less than four months to go before the new law takes effect, dispensaries have several regulations to abide by, such as taking part in health and safety training, before opening their doors.

Furthermore, dispensaries are anxiously waiting on their local municipalities to decide whether they will allow cannabis sales within their town. 

Also this week, the Illinois Department of Labor is reminding parents of the school visitation law, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has begun promoting September as National Preparedness Month.

Recreational cannabis update

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has approved 26 businesses as “Responsible Vendors,” who are tasked with providing mandatory health and safety training to cannabis dispensary agents.

All medical cannabis dispensing agents currently working in Illinois must receive training from an approved Responsible Vendor by Nov. 30, 2019, to ensure they are trained before adult-use sales begin on Jan. 1, 2020. Any newly hired dispensary agents must also receive training within 90 days of their hiring date.

Responsible Vendors provide dispensary agents necessary training on how to properly check purchaser identification, state laws and rules relating to dispensing cannabis, how to identify signs of impairment, physiological effects of cannabis, security measures, and health concerns related to cannabis consumption. 

Meanwhile, local governments across the state are deciding whether to allow recreational cannabis sales within their cities and villages. The new state law allows anyone who is at least 21 to consume cannabis privately, but towns have the option of prohibiting legal sales and other types of marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.

School visitation law reminder, employers must provide leave for parents

Students are back in school, and parent-teacher conferences are around the corner, which is why the State of Illinois is reminding parents of its school visitation law.

Since 1993, Illinois has had a law providing for unpaid leave for employees to attend school conferences or classroom activities of their children when such events cannot be rescheduled during non-work hours. The School Visitation Rights Act stresses the importance of and promotes the involvement of parents in their children’s schooling.

A school visitation rights leave form is available on the Illinois Department of Labor’s website:

September is National Preparedness Month in Illinois

September is National Preparedness Month, which seeks to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning. 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers are encouraging Illinoisans to take time to prepare for potential emergencies at homes, at work, and in the community. Having a plan that includes where to go and how to communicate during disasters, building an emergency supply kit and learning lifesaving skills could help your family, friends, neighbors and employees during a disaster.

Here are five steps your family can take to be prepared:

Save Early for a Disaster:  Make sure you have financial savings should a disaster or emergency occur.

Learn Lifesaving Skills: Learn skills such as CPR and first aid techniques so that you can provide aid until help arrives.

Make a Plan for When a Disaster Strikes: Make a plan for your family, so you all know what to do when a disaster strikes.

Teach Youth how to Prepare for Disasters: Get kids involved in building their own emergency kit. Make sure to include your child’s favorite stuffed animals, board games, books or music in their emergency kit to comfort them in a disaster.

Get Involved in Community Preparedness: Check in with your neighbors to see how you can help each other before, during and after a storm. You can also bolster your community’s resiliency efforts by joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERTs train volunteers to prepare for various emergencies and disasters.

Dave Syverson

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