Visiting a Medical Cannabis Clinic in Illinois

ADDISON, IL (CBS 58) -- Governor Tony Evers indicated this week that he plans on taking a “first step” towards medical marijuana legalization, a step that could ultimately lead to full legalization down the road.

Recreational marijuana is legal in ten states. Medical marijuana is legal in 33, including our neighbor to the south. 

"You could see all of the different things that they make, wax, caviar," said Lori Moretti, showing off different items on pamphlets in her office. 

She runs Medical Cannabis Community Outreach and has locations in Addison, Rockford and Springfield, Illinois. 

Moretti said she first got involved with medical marijuana when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

"Knocked on the dispensary door, the security guard opened and she said, 'I have breast cancer, can I come in?' They said 'No, you need to get a license.'"

After figuring out how to get through the process with her mom, she started helping others, by starting Medical Cannabis Community Outreach. She opened her office in Addison, Illinois last year. At her office, she helps patients apply for their medical marijuana card. 

"We're helping a lot of patients that don't have alternatives. If you heard the phone calls I have every day," she said. 

In Illinois a patient must have one of 41 qualifying conditions and meet the following requirements, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health

  • Be a resident of the State of Illinois at the time of application and remain a resident during participation in the program; 
  • Have a qualifying debilitation medical condition; 
  • Have a signed physician certification (unless you are a veteran receiving medical care at a VA facility); 
  • Be at least 18 years old; 
  • Not hold a school bus permit or Commercial Driver's License (CDL); 
  • Not be an active duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter

At Cannabis Community Outreach, Moretti helps patients fill out the paperwork for the Medical Cannabis Patient Application and then patients can see a doctor in her office. A physician written certification form is one of the requirements for the patient application. 

"They're either anesthesiologist, physician, primary care physicians or surgeons," Moretti said of the several doctors who work at her office in addition to their full-time jobs. 

The application and paper work is sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Moretti said it usually takes 45 to 60 days for a patient to receive a card in the mail and then they are able to visit a state-approve dispensary to get the items they are looking for. 

For more on the program in Illinois, click here. 

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