Evanston's first medical marijuana dispensary now in operation
Evanston’s first medical marijuana dispensary now in operation
When Marc Washington moved into senior housing in Evanston two months ago, he had no idea his building was located so close to the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary.
“It was like two blocks away,” he said. “I can see it from my window.”
Washington, 54, who lives at the Jane R. Perlman Apartments, 1900 Sherman Ave., was one of under a dozen people at the Evanston Public Library on Thursday, Dec. 10, learning what they had to do to become a customer of the dispensary, located on ground floor space in the city’s Maple Self-Park garage at 1804 Maple Ave.
The dispensary is now open and running and open to registered customers, said Liz Elliott and Christina D. Lena, representatives of PharmaCannis, the Oak Park-based company which holds the license to the Evanston dispensary and three others in the area.
Lena said “things are going very well” in the dispensary’s first week and a half of operation. “We’re really pleased with the number of patients that are coming through and support from the city of Evanston,” she said.
At the information session, she and Elliott offered advice to audience members hoping to become customers.
To become eligible, patients have to obtain a state registration card. Without one, they won’t even be allowed in the door of the facility, PharmaCannis officials have stressed at Thursday’s meeting and at previous sessions.
Registration includes submitting fingerprints and a full listing of fingerprinting vendors can be found on the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s website.
In addition, patients must have their physician submit a form certifying they have one of the 39 debilitation conditions specified under the Illinois Compassionate Use Act of Medicinal Pilot Program.
The list includes such conditions and diseases as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C, lupus, Parkinson’s disease and others.
Currently the Illinois Department of Public Health is weighing adding eight conditions and diseases, including autism, irritable bowl syndrome, chronic post-operative pain and others. A decision is expected to come down on February, Elliott said.
Before the meeting with a physician, “educate yourself on your condition,” Elliott stressed at the information session. “Don’t walk in the door and say ‘Hey, doc I need some weed.”
She also stressed “this is not a prescription — it’s certification. Basically all your doctor is doing is certifying you have one of these conditions and sending that form to the state.”
Once patients become registered, they have to pick the dispensary they plan to use, she said. The dispensary’s have patient care representatives on staff who meet with patients one-on-one and work with them on what medication regimen would work best with their condition, she said.
As of right now, no insurance is accepted at the dispensaries. Transactions are made through cash or debit cards, Elliott said.
The dispensary’s “price point,” is $45 for an eighth of a pound in weight, equating to $350 per ounce, she said.
Certified patients can buy the medical marijuana in as little or as much as they want, so long as they don’t exceed the state’s limit of two and half ounces within a 14-day period, she said.
Rich Adams, an Edgewater resident at last Thursday’s program, was among those interested. Adams, 69, a retired state employee, said she suffers from “a trifecta” of conditions or diseases on the state list.
“Currently, I take a multitude of meds, over 20 pills a day,” he said.
Washington said he suffers from inflammation of the joints, resulting from the damp conditions he worked under during the Deep Tunnel project. He said he also suffered fractured vertebrae in a fall in 2014.
He said he is currently on strong pain medicine and would like to get off of it.
“Marijuana relaxes me,” he said. “I’m sure that I’ll get better strains of it through PharmaCannis.”
PharmaCannis’ next seminar is scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 12 at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.
Source: Medical MarijuanaEvanston’s first medical marijuana dispensary now in operation