Overly stressed at work, Rachel Deisenroth recently quit her job at the Quad-City International Airport.
The 21-year-old Rock Islander takes medication for her anxiety, but she’s “sick of being on pills for everything.”
Curious about the potential benefits of medical marijuana, she attended the Quad-Cities Medical Cannabis Expo Wednesday in Rock Island.
Nature’s Treatment of Illinois, a licensed cannabis retail shop in Milan, hosted the first-ever event of its kind here, which drew about 200 people to The Stern Center.
During the four-hour open house, Deisenroth and other prospective patients met with stakeholders in Illinois’ medical marijuana market and inquired about the state’s pilot program.
Medical Cannabis Outreach, a Chicago-based consultant group represented at the expo, unveiled its plans to bring a mobile clinic to the Quad-Cities next month to help potential patients with the application process.
“It’s not an easy process,” Kirsten Velasco, a patient advocate with the organization, said. “So, we try and simplify it for people.”
Specifically, the group, which will include a doctor from Chicago, will reserve a hotel suite here July 30 and help qualified Illinois residents apply for patient cards.
“There’s too much pressure from medical companies around here that say, ‘if you’re using medical marijuana, you’re a bad person,'” he said.
Deisenroth said she experienced just that with her primary physician.
“I brought it up to my doctor, but he dismissed it before I could even get three words out,” she said, adding her therapist advised her to investigate the alternative treatment method.
As of June 1, 7,000 patients, including 52 under the age of 18, have been approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health to buy marijuana.
The Legislature last month approved the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and terminal illnesses with a diagnosis of six months or less to the list of 39 qualifying diseases and conditions.
Representatives from Green Thumb Industries, or GTI, which opened the state’s first grow house in Rock Island County, also were on site for the expo. The 45,000-square-foot warehouse is off Andalusia Road, about seven miles from the dispensary.
Medical Cannabis Outreach
For more information about Medical Cannabis Outreach, the Chicago-based advocacy group that has plans to bring a mobile clinic to the Quad-Cities next month, visit medicalcannabisoutreach.com.