Editorials

Medical Marijuana in the Midwest

Legal Medical Marijuana sales begin in Illinois

Photo Courtesy Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune

The first week sales of medical marijuana in Illinois happened last week on November 9th, 2015.

In Michigan, with the longest standing medical marijuana program in the region, we sometimes feel isolated from other medical or recreational states. That will be the case no longer. After Ohio’s recent opposition to a medical marijuana model that was on the ballot, it is great timing to see Illinois roll out its own medical marijuana program.

And “roll out” is what they did with around $210,000 in legal marijuana sales the first week.

Tim Stallings, of Macomb, was reportedly the first medical cannabis purchaser in the state. “I have nothing to hide,” he told Hybrid.life. “I’m 40 and I have MS, connective tissue disease, and a condition not documented in any medical journal revealed by genetic testing.”

The thrill and excitement was still in his voice as he went on to talk about the marijuana he received. “I will never buy black market cannabis again!”

Photo by Tim Stallings: The packaging and labeling requirements in Illinois are extensive.

Photo by Tim Stallings: The packaging and labeling requirements in Illinois are extensive.

Stallings spent $273 for the cannabis and a chillum he got. Subtract the $5 chillum. His total came to a whopping $268 for 16 grams of high quality Cannabis. Stallings reported that he could get an ounce for $400 on the black market, but it was not nearly as good.

On Sunday, November 8th, Stallings was told he was one of a handful of people who were selected to gain early entry to Salveo the next morning. “I think the time was around 9:15a.m. When I walked out of the dispensing room, there was a line of patients in the lobby. It was surreal. I’m not ashamed of my cannabis use. Some people were turned away because they didn’t select their dispensary with IDPH. The dispensary was so busy they asked people to visit later in the week.”

In order to become a registered patient in Illinois, Stallings had to jump through a few hoops like being fingerprinted and having a background check. There are currently about 3,300 registered patients in the state. Stallings noted that “they don’t fingerprint you for OxyContin or any other prescription drugs.”

Stallings chose a variety of strains to try. In total, there were 16 grams of 5 different strains. “All 5 of the strains I’ve tried are amazing.”

And we’re not surprised as the shopping list was one that is sure to please. “One-gram package of Girls Scout Cookies, it’s very dense with a great, potent smell; but Revolution’s Blue Cheese was my favorite.”

Photo Tim Stallings: Array of products bought by Stallings at Salveo Dispensary.

Photo Tim Stallings: Array of products bought by Stallings at Salveo Dispensary.

Only flower from the first harvest was available at this time, but Stallings looks forward to more products to come.

The Illinois medical marijuana program mandates testing, tracking, and other rigid requirements on the marijuana that is sold. In Michigan, where those same requirements don’t exist, you still see Michigan’s industry leading the Midwest in both testing and product packaging.

Considering that the cost for a permit to grow medical marijuana in Illinois is more than $200,000, I count my blessings that in Michigan a patient can grow their own cannabis as the cost for many patients, like myself, would be over $50,000 a year in retail medicine.

http://down2earthholistichealth.com
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