Bob is a health care regulatory and policy attorney with extensive experience in the still-developing cannabis industry. As the first statewide project coordinator for the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, Bob was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to develop and implement a regulatory framework for the use of cannabis by eligible patients. He draws on his experience working with state and federal agencies, and private businesses to help clients understand and operate in this growing sector of the economy.
While leading the Illinois medical cannabis program, Bob oversaw the efforts of five state agencies and more than 50 employees charged with creating program rules and fees, laboratory testing and database systems, and a selection process for licensed dispensary facilities and cultivation centers. He managed a multimillion-dollar state fund to create and maintain a system of operations, detailed tracking capabilities, policies to assure patient safety, proper enforcement of laws and regulations, and public education campaigns.
As one of the primary architects of the medical cannabis program, Bob understands the concerns and goals of patients, medical professionals and providers, hospitals and health systems, insurers, law enforcement officials and legislators alike. The patient-centered focus of the medical cannabis program was manifested in the creation of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board consisting of patients and health care professionals. He guides clients in the engagement of key stakeholders and works with media outlets to develop effective public and private communications strategies.
In addition to his work in the cannabis industry, Bob is a highly experienced health care lawyer. He advises hospitals, health systems, consulting firms, pharmacies, advocacy groups and other clients, helping them understand the effects of federal and state health care reform legislation, ensure compliance with evolving regulatory requirements and implement industry best practices.
Bob previously served as general counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health, where he advised the agency director and senior staff on a broad range of complex legal issues, including licensure of health care facilities, emergency preparedness, maternal and child health initiatives, mental health and developmental disability facilities, and food safety. He supervised the department’s 15 attorneys and administered all privacy, confidentiality, and ethics policies and protocols for the department’s 1200 employees.
Bob also served in the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois as associate general counsel and lead attorney on issues involving health care, the Affordable Care Act, private and public insurance issues and health information technology. In this role, he managed a dozen state agency general counsels overseeing health care, insurance, human services, environmental, energy, commerce and housing legal issues.
Before this, he served as deputy general counsel of employee benefits for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, where he handled a range of public-sector employee benefits, health insurance, pension, workers' compensation, litigation and tax matters.In 2018, Bob was elected to represent District 58 in the Illinois House of Representatives. He has served on political campaign teams of candidates for federal and state offices, and was a member of the Obama for America National Health Policy Advisory Committee.