Why Illinois Dispensaries Need To Open NOW
Illinois has created a notably strict medical marijuana program, intending to avoiding the pitfalls of legalization that other states have seen. This is a positive for many reasons, but mostly because patients will have access to dispensaries that are heavily regulated medical facilities with professional pharmacists and doctors on staff. Due the rigid application process and very limited number of licenses made available, Illinois will surely choose the most qualified, prepared and professional groups out of hundreds of applicants. Unlike other states, where dispensaries are often shady little storefronts with tinted black windows and shop clerks with no medical training, Illinois has made sure that their dispensaries will be legitimate, compliant and safe facilities for patients.
This is all wonderful and exciting for Illinois patients who qualify, many of whom have already applied and been approved by the IL Department of Public Health.
So…what now? Where are the dispensaries?
The truth is that dispensaries are still clearing the required hurdles to get licensed by the state. These groups are required to secure locations, get local neighborhood approval and secure a special use permit before being considered.
We, at The Healing Clinic, are very passionate about supporting the dispensaries in getting the approvals they need to get open. Illinois residents need to welcome dispensaries into our communities and accept them in convenient locations so that patients have legal, safe and reliable access to a medicine that they need to live better lives. Patients should no longer have to resort to the potentially dangerous underground market to access medical cannabis.
Many Illinois patients are terminal and should be able to access medicinal cannabis now, because they can’t afford to wait. Gleb Zakharov, of Skokie, IL, is one of those patients. Last August, at the age of 27, Gleb was diagnosed with lung cancer that since then has spread to his brain and spine. Gleb was one of THC’s first patients and is hoping to get legal access to CBD oil, known to be effective in treating cancer, before it is too late. Watch this short interview with Gleb at The Healing Clinic on November 29, 2014.
Despite his terminal cancer diagnoses, Gleb continues to work full time selling insurance and still pursues his passion of hip hop. He writes and produces rap songs using the moniker “Kraine” and refuses to let his condition get in the way of expressing his creativity. The music video for his song “What’s Gone Cost” was filmed the night Gleb was released from the hospital after cancer surgery.
Gleb wants to be able to exercise his right to use medicinal cannabis in Illinois. Despite having pneumonia among other issues, he showed up on time for all of his appointments and has submitted everything required to get registered with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. He is now hoping that dispensaries will open in time for him to start CBD oil treatments.
Gleb Zakharov is a brave soul who inspires us to never give up on life.
Let’s all join together in support of the dispensary license hopefuls in Illinois so that Gleb and other patients like him, get a chance to benefit from medical cannabis and apply the law that was enacted for them nearly one year ago. More dispensary groups will present their plans in hopes of getting necessary approval this Friday December 19, 2:00 at the zoning board of appeals 121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL – Room 200. A number of vocal opponents are expected to attend so a strong showing of supporters will make a big difference. We will be there and we welcome any advocates out there to come along.