illinois department of public health

Illinois: Impact Of Medical Cannabis On Patients To Be Evaluated

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The choices, attitudes, and experience of medical cannabis patients in Illinois will be documented in a first-of-its-kind study through January 8.

Revolution Cannabis Analytics, a newly formed division of Revolution Enterprises, an Illinois-based company that manages two state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and laboratory facilities in Central Illinois, will perform the study.

Revolution Enterprises said it formed Revolution Cannabis Analytics "to better understand the unique effects of cannabinoids and the types of relief they may provide to patients suffering from certain conditions." Certain cannabinoids, a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant, may be beneficial in the treatment of various health conditions, according to a growing body of research.

Illinois, which allowed for the first sales of legal cannabis Nov. 9, has 3,600 registered patients for the state's pilot program, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, almost 29,300 persons with debilitating conditions have started the patient application process since IDPH began accepting applications on Sept. 2, 2014, data show.

"By using information captured through Revolution Cannabis Analytics, we will create the next generation of Revolution genetic varieties to precisely address specific debilitating conditions," said Revolution Enterprises CEO Tim McGraw. "This program will help Illinois to lead the world in the collection of analytical data and patient feedback as it relates to the science of cannabis."

Illinois: First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

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Illinois’ first medical marijuana dispensaries have opened across the state, with five opening on Monday, including locations in Addison, Canton, Marion, Mundelein, and Quincy.

So far, a total of eight shops are approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health with seven more dispensaries expected to open later this month, bringing the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Illinois to 15. In order to be protected under state law, Illinois patients must obtain their medical marijuana from one of these licensed dispensaries.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting to have access to this medicine,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We are grateful they will no longer have to put themselves at risk by purchasing it in an underground market.” Under the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), patients must register and select one designated dispensary as their source of medicine. According to the Department of Public Health, 3,300 patients have registered for the medical cannabis identification cards.

“The dispensary openings mark the most significant milestone since the pilot program began nearly two and half years ago,” said Lindsey. “A limited number of patients with certain conditions will now be able to legally access medical marijuana. We hope the state can see that a program like this works and we can finally relieve the suffering of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.”

Illinois Considers Expanding Disease List For Medical Marijuana Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois residents have petitioned the state to add more than 20 medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program. Among the conditions requested to be added are anxiety, migraines, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Petitioners identifying themselves as combat veterans of Vietnam and Iraq asked that PTSD be included, according to 269 pages of petitions obtained by Carla K. Johnson at The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The state redacted the names of petitioners before releasing the documents, to protect patients' privacy.

“I am a Vietnam Vet and can only imagine how things would have been,” wrote one PTSD petitioner. “While visiting in Colorado I had the benefit of trying cannabis in candy form…. and I felt wonderful. No thoughts of violence, self-deprecation, or hopelessness. My life would be different today.”

Illinois law lists cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS as qualifying conditions for cannabis, but is more restrictive than most other medical marijuana states. The Illinois Department of Health must approve any additions to the list.

An advisory board of doctors, patients, nurses and a pharmacist is looking over the petitions, and will make a recommendation after a public hearing on May 4. People can submit petitions twice each year, in January and July.

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