One of the state’s medical societies supports several measures they hope will enhance Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Though they are neutral on the pilot program, Illinois State Medical Society President Dr. Scott Cooper said they support a measure to add medical cannabis to the prescription drug monitoring program, something that could help identify potential drug interactions.
“Or, I guess, if somebody is using medical marijuana then it theoretically should reduce their need for narcotic pain reliever too,” Cooper said.
Cooper said ISMS also wants more information given to patients when patients pick up their product “to be patient friendly.”
“To give the patient as much information as we can, to educate them,” Cooper said.
Both provisions are found in Senate Bill 2378, which was introduced this month and has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee.
Meanwhile advocates for Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Pilot Program are urging others to stop making the case for recreational legalization while the current medical program plays out.
From blogs to Facebook groups, and even dispensary operators, advocates of medical cannabis in Illinois want to ensure the program is successful.
Jay Cook, with HCI Alternatives, told WMAY Springfield last week it’s difficult to separate the medical program from what some hope would be legalization for recreational use, especially as the industry sticks to certain names for their various strains.
“They’re very recreational names, something like Strawberry Headband, or Cheese and Chong,” Cook said.
Dr. Cooper said separating the medicinal from possible recreational is a good stance.
“It is for treatment, not for recreation and that’s what the program is for,” Cooper said.
The ISMS is neutral on the pilot program but said they have educational materials online for doctors who are unsure about getting involved with cannabis patients.
According to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program there have been $1.68 million in total sales since early November on more than 116,000 grams to more than 2,800 unique patients from 20 dispensaries. As of earlier this month, there are 4,400 approved patients in Illinois.