Rauner resists extending medical marijuana program for now

CHICAGO (AP) — A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner says the governor wants Illinois’ new medical marijuana pilot program to be “fully evaluated” before a decision is made on whether to extend it beyond 2017.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the Republican believes “there is a lot of time left” to evaluate the pilot program.

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported the governor’s reaction to a proposal to extend the program.

A Skokie Democrat who sponsored the original medical marijuana legislation is pushing a new measure to extend the program four years from when the first dispensary begins officially operating.

Rep. Lou Lang says his bill would help sick Illinois residents who are waiting to use legal marijuana to ease their symptoms. Businesses have been licensed, but have not yet started selling marijuana.