Changes to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

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On July 1 Governor Rauner signed a bill that extended the term of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program into 2020. The bill also made a number of other changes to the current system, however. The new rules went into effect on August 1st and since many of the new regulations are only being sporadically reported here is a breakdown what is different in the program, as of today.

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Medical Cannabis Patient Testimonials

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At Salveo Health & Wellness we believe in the efficacy of medical cannabis. We believe that it can help patients ease symptoms that they’ve been struggling to live with, and can improve the quality of life for countless people. You don’t have to take our word for this, though. Here are some of our patients talking about how medical cannabis has allowed them to retake control of their health.
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Eat, Vape, Smoke: Cannabis Consumption

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So you have a medical cannabis patient card. Now what? Even long-time cannabis veterans, when faced with all of the new options that legalization and technology have produced, could be flustered when considering how to consume their medicine. Do you go the tried-and-true route and smoke dry flower? Do you vape (and what is vaping, by the way?) Do you use a tincture or edible? Here are a few of your options when it comes to consuming medical cannabis.
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Intro to Cannabinoids and the Entourage Effect

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We touched on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a previous post. The ECS is the recently discovered system in our body that helps keep our other systems in a state of balance. Cannabinoids are chemicals in the cannabis plant that interact with this system. Though research on the endocannabinoid system is still in its early stages, several of the chemicals in the cannabis plant have been isolated and work is being done to discover the ways they affect the human body.

Science hasn’t yet unlocked all of the secrets in cannabis, but here is a short list of things we do know about the active chemicals that make it a promising medicinal treatment.

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Support Medical Cannabis in Illinois

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The Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program is one that is constantly evolving, and indeed isn’t even quite off of its feet yet. There are a number of things that patients, families, and citizens of Illinois can do to support the program, and build it into a robust program serving those in the state that need relief from symptoms of severe illness.

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Upcoming Medical Cannabis Outreach Patient Seminars

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As we mentioned in a previous post we’ve partnered with Medical Cannabis Outreach for educating patients about medical cannabis and helping potential patients navigate the application process for a medical cannabis card in Illinois. MCO has announced five more free seminars over the course of the summer, answering questions about how cannabis can be used to treat many severe illnesses and how qualifying Illinois residents can register for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

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Medical Cannabis Outreach Featured In The News

McDonough Voice Photo Caprice

Our patient education partners Medical Cannabis Outreach were featured recently in the McDonough County Voice! The paper covered the seminar last weekend in Macomb, one of the many free educational seminars that MCO has been hosting. Caprice Price Sweatt, the group’s founder, related that the vast majority of interest that they’ve received has been from people bucking the prevailing stereotypes of cannabis consumers. As the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program has intended, the vast majority of people she’s spoken with are patients with severe and debilitating illnesses.

“We have a lot of MS (multiple sclerosis) patients. A lot of MS patients, a lot of cancer patients,” Sweatt said. “I have a lot of terminal cancer patients that at this point, they haven’t even smoked cannabis before and they’re just going to try it because they have no other alternatives.”

Salveo Health & Wellness owner Scott Miller was also on hand, outlining some of the needs filled by MCO’s work.

“There’s fingerprinting, costs, paperwork,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of hoops to get signed up, and a need for seminars to help people figure the process out.”

Hat’s off the Medical Cannabis Outreach for continuing our mission of serving communities, spreading information, and helping patients. There is a seminar scheduled this Saturday, June 6. If you are interested but can’t make it keep checking back with the group on Facebook as more events are announced.

Alex Thiersch Speaking at Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Summit

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Salveo’s Alex Thiersch will be speaking as part of the Know Your Rights panel at the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Summit on June 6 at the University Center in Chicago. He will spotlight the civil protections afforded to patients and caregivers enrolled in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Alex has been involved in the Illinois cannabis space since the bill for the Pilot Program was being debated in the state legislature, and is part of the ownership group of Salveo Health & Wellness. These facts, along with his experience as a lawyer representing medical professionals in matters relating to legal compliance make him well-suited to weigh in on matters of cannabis law in Illinois.

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Summit is sponsored by the Illinois chapter of Americans for Safe Access and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. The mission of the day-long event is to provide education about the use of medical cannabis, and the specifics of becoming a registered patient or caregiver in Illinois. There will be an additional presentation in the evening geared towards helping veterans navigate the VHA system to treat illnesses using medical cannabis.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Srishti Nangia and Dr. Suzanne Sisley. Dr. Nangia is a Pediatric Epileptologist at Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Sisley is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and the Principal Investigator in a current FDA clinical study looking at the use of whole-plant cannabis in combat veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD.