As we have discussed in previous blogs, medical marijuana is becoming a popular alternative to many prescription opioids and steroid treatments for moderate to chronic pain. A majority of the states in the US recognize the medicinal effects of medical marijuana, which has led to more states legalizing marijuana and cannabis for medical use. There are still a handful of states where marijuana is completely illegal, but hopefully, science will prevail, and these states will come to their senses.

In 2013, Illinois created the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This act legalized the medical marijuana industry, allowing patients access to alternative treatment options that can yield more effective results for pain management. Since the inception of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, there has been a battle to determine which illnesses or conditions qualify a patient to receive access to medical marijuana.

For instance, former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was extremely hesitant to expand the medical marijuana program; however, he did allow the program to continue through 2020. There are still some patients who suffer from conditions that don’t want or cannot get treated with opioids. Depending on their condition, they still may be excluded from having access to medical marijuana.

At Salveo Health & Wellness, we are always advocating for patients to have access to alternative medicines to treat their conditions. Whether you suffer from chronic pain related to a back injury or you or a loved one has Parkinson’s, be sure to visit our website today to learn about the medicinal properties of medical marijuana. We are always interested in helping potential patients find the right solution to their condition. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to us by calling at 309-204-3904.

What Conditions are Currently Covered?

One of the biggest obstacles to patients getting access to medical marijuana may or may not have been former Governor Rauner. Rauner was especially not receptive to adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of covered conditions; however, a 2016 ruling made by a Cook County judge ordered that the state add PTSD to the list of conditions covered by the medical marijuana program.

One of the biggest expansions to Illinois’ medical marijuana program was the inclusion of opioid patients. The Alternative to Opioids Act allows patients who are currently prescribed opioids for pain management to try medical cannabis and marijuana as an alternative method of pain management. This act will hopefully allow thousands of Illinois opioid users to transition to medical marijuana to decrease their dependence on prescription drugs.

The Alternative to Opioids Act also will hopefully increase the awareness and popularity of comparatively healthier alternatives to opioids. There were close to 5 million opioid prescriptions given to 2 million patients in 2017. This amount seems alarming for some, so the hope is that the Alternative to Opioids Act will curb the rise of opioid prescriptions in the state of Illinois. Another benefit to the Alternative to Opioids Act is that it does away with the fingerprinting and background checks typically required to apply for a medical marijuana card in Illinois. To learn more about the Alternative to Opioids Act, be sure to visit the rest of our website.

Currently, there are 41 covered conditions in the medical cannabis and marijuana program. These programs cover everything from cancer to HIV/AIDS to Lupus. Some of these conditions are relatively obscure, while other conditions are widespread.

How To Get a Med Card in Illinois

The process of getting a medical marijuana card in Illinois is one of the most regulated processes in the US. If you are looking for help in applying for a medical cannabis or marijuana card in Illinois, Salveo Health & Wellness has a variety of resources that can help you. We believe that everyone with chronic medical conditions should have access to medical marijuana.

While you are filling out your medical marijuana card application, be sure to include Salveo Health & Wellness as your preferred dispensary if you live in the Canton, Illinois area. Depending on the extent of your pain and your condition, you can also have a caregiver purchase and administer your medical cannabis for you.

It is important that if you are interested in getting a medical marijuana card that you select a preferred dispensary where you will purchase your medical marijuana. While there are plenty of dispensaries across the state of Illinois, you can only legally purchase marijuana from one of the dispensaries. If you want to change your preferred dispensary, you will need to apply to change your preferences. Once you receive confirmation that the state received your application for change, you must wait 24 hours before visiting your new preferred dispensary.

What if my Condition is not Covered?

Do not panic if your condition or disease is not covered under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. If your condition or disease isn’t listed, the Illinois Department of Public Health has created a way for patients to petition to add a debilitating condition. The one catch to this process is that the petitions are only read once a year during the month of January. If you send a petition in after January 31, the petition will be returned to the sender and not considered.

If you do have a condition that is currently covered by the medical cannabis program in Illinois, be sure to apply for a medical marijuana card if you are looking for an alternative treatment for your pain. There are a wide variety of different ways to consume medical marijuana, as well as a variety of different types of marijuana — each one with distinct benefits. For more information, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness today or call us at 309-204-3904.

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