Medical marijuana shop now operating in East PeoriaBy Holly Eitenmiller For Chronicle Media — December 19, 2016
For those who may be wondering what’s behind the frosted bulletproof glass windows in the strip mall at 504 Riverside Drive in East Peoria, it’s cannabis, and it’s there because of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
On Dec. 7, nuMed, a medical-marijuana dispensary, began accepting patients there with debilitating conditions that qualify them for Illinois’ medical cannabis program. Among the 40 conditions are cancer, Lupus, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s Disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Based in Wheaton, nuMed opened its first dispensary in Urbana in October and plans to open a third just off Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The East Peoria business is the second of its kind in the Peoria area. The other is Trinity Compassionate Care Centers Dispensary in Peoria.
All qualifying patients must first garner written certification of their condition from a doctor, except veterans. Veterans who visit VA facilities must provide the state with one year of medical records from that facility to qualify.
“First of all, physicians are only required by the state to certify a patient condition,” Ben Rediger, nuMed Media public relations consultant said. “Doctors do not recommend or prescribe cannabis.”
A fingerprint-based background check follows to look for excluded offenses, such as felonies under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Active duty law enforcement, correctional and probation officers are may not apply registry card, along with firefighters and those with commercial drivers’ licenses, including school bus drivers.
Once registered, patients are issued a photo identification card, much like a driver’s license. With this in hand, a person may then pass through the bullet-proof glass security doors into nuMed’s interior, where around 50 state-monitored security cameras oversee operations.
“We provide products including transdermal patches, topical creams, gel pens to hit hot spots, edibles like chocolates to gummy bears, transdermal droplets which can be put in feeding tube,” Rediger said.
Empty containers representing each product line shelves and, once a patient makes a selection, an Agent in Charge will retrieve that product from a vault. nuMed’s Agents in Charge, Toby and Tina Clayton underwent FBI background checks before they were employed, as well as training in recordkeeping, inventory, and dispensary regulations.
Dosages vary per patient, Rediger said, and also depend on the method such as edible vs. transdermal, as well as the strain of marijuana and patient’s medical condition.
Some strains are high in THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana which Rediger said is helpful in such ailments as Alzheimer’s Disease. Others are low in THC, but high in CBD, an element that works as an anti-inflammatory and is often provided to patients who suffer from seizures.
“It’s different for each stage of a disease, the body structure, age,” he explained. “Other states have provided structure. Patients fill out a sheet and document their progress and report back to their physician.”
Patients may purchase up to 2 ½ ounces every two weeks, the cost of which is not covered by insurance. The company’s line of products may be viewed on their website, numed.com.
“It’s our generation’s penicillin and the future of medical treatment in America,” Rediger said. “It’s representative of a fundamental shift and it effects every person in Illinois. Every person has a relative friend or that has a qualifying condition.”
— Medical marijuana shop now operating in East Peoria —