Daniel X. O'Neil

Head of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program Resigns

The second person chosen by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to head the state’s medical cannabis program has resigned, the Associated Press reports. The Bureau of Agriculture’s chief of the pilot medical cannabis program, Jack Campbell, will take over the role.

Joseph Wright held the post for just over a year, and his resignation comes as the governor considers signing legislation that would extend the program another two years.

According to the report, the 32-year-old Wright said it was the right time to pursue other opportunities, possibly with a private sector cannabis company. He earned $53,770 annually in his role with the government.

Wright’s successor ran for Sangamon Sheriff as a Republican in 2014, which he lost in the primary. He retired as a sergeant with the county last January. Campbell began his role with the Ag Department last summer.

Bob Morgan, the first program director, called Campbell’s hiring “good news for patients,” noting that he has been a part of the medical marijuana program since its implementation.

“[He] has a strong reputation for how he has engaged with cultivation centers,” he said in the report.

The extension agreed on by the governor and lawmakers also adds post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the list of qualifying conditions. Once signed by Gov. Rauner, the program will continue until 2020 – the original legislation allowed for a four-year pilot program.

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