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Illinois Families Having Trouble With Medical Marijuana Doctor Approvals

Illinois Families Having Trouble With Medical Marijuana Doctor Approvals

The introduction of Illinois medical marijuana program, and recent news of favorable changes to laws which make it easier for children suffering from debilitating medical conditions to access medical marijuana, may have given some people the impression that all loose ends were tied. The recent legislation allows for qualifying patients under the age of 18 to begin using medical marijuana on January 1, 2015. New information from some Illinois families paints a different picture.

Up until a week ago patients of the Illinois medical marijuana program were only required to have one doctor’s approval. With recent changes made to the law, all patients now require approval from their main physician and a second doctor. While this measure could cut down on fraud and prevent a small amount of doctors from filling nearly every prescription, the regulations are also proving to be a hurdle for patients with qualifying conditions. It has proven to be difficult to obtain the required physician recommendations for medical marijuana.

One such patient, Brady Blanco (pictured above) suffers from severe night seizures. Brady’s treatment program requires him to take 24 pills each day. He must sleep on an inflatable mattress to prevent injury. Like many other families across the country, if the Blanco family is not able to get the treatment they desire in Illinois, they have plans to travel to a more friendly region for treatment like Colorado.

“I get calls everyday. So far, I have not found any doctors who will prescribe.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation in Rockford, Illinois finding even one doctor to approve patient conditions, has not been easy. Area doctors cite a lack of research in the region as the main reason making them hesitant to approve marijuana prescriptions. This has put several of the foundation’s members in quite a bind.

“They quit calling back because I keep saying we haven’t found anyone yet, we are working on it. But I get calls everyday. So far, I have not found any doctors who will prescribe,” stated Epilepsy Foundation Director of Client Services, Barbara Vern-Lau.

Photo Credit: WREX

Chicago Approves 6 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Chicago Approves 6 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

On Friday, Chicago Zoning Board members sat down to decide on the fate of 13 medical marijuana dispensary applicants. Of the 13 applicants, 6 were were approved, 6 were delayed, and 1 was rejected.

Applicants gave their financial plans and addressed security concerns to establish credibility for their dispensaries. Staffing, security, financing, and labeling were all considered when awarding licenses to prospective dispensaries, along with $500,000 in capital to get the ball rolling.

Tami Marron’s dispensary application was rejected because her marijuana business planned to allow patients to apply for their medical licenses at her shop. Board members expressed concerns about the Wicker Park location, apparently leery of self-interested dispensaries handing out medical marijuana cards. City spokesman Pete Strazzabosco said that Marron’s dispensary offered an, “Interior configuration issue that would have an adverse impact on the public way and patient environment.”

In addition dispensary licenses, one grow operation was approved to start growing in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the Far Southeast Side of Chicago. Although zoning boards are closely scrutinizing prospective business owners, it seems that medical marijuana will soon be available to Chicago patients.

Photo Credit: iceman9294

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