HCI Alternatives

edibles
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

In today’s legal marijuana market, there is more than just a typical joint to get high. There are cookies, gummies, weed-infused drinks and more. But, there are few studies available in the United States that examine the long-term effects of these different products.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn’t the driving force. It’s about promoting justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, the lack of diversity and transparency in Illinois’ medical marijuana program causes some concern.

HCI Alternatives

Illinois launched its opioid alternative program on Thursday. The program allows patients immediate access to medical cannabis if they have a current prescription for opioids or would have been prescribed one. 

flickr/medicalmarijuana-information.com

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

Medical marijuana outlet lobby
HCI Alternatives

What's often called synthetic marijuana has led to three deaths in Illinois and sickened dozens in recent days. It has some in the medical cannabis industry concerned. 

marijuana buds next to prescription container
eggrole / flickr

In a long-anticipated move, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in January he was rescinding the hands-off approach taken by the Obama administration regarding marijuana enforcement. Illinois has decriminalized the drug and has a medicinal program. 

The opioid epidemic continues to sweep across Illinois and the rest of the nation, now declared a public health emergency. But, some believe medical marijuana could be the solution.

Amanda Vinicky

A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program. The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

More than 10,000 Illinois residents are certified to use marijuana for medical purposes; Kyla Travis, a Springfield resident who has multiple sclerosis, is one of them.

"I'm almost 60 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 17. So for these many years, they had me on opiates," she says.

Amanda Vinicky

It had been a long time coming, but Illinois' pilot program for medical marijuana has finally kicked off last November. It's been slow growing for the industry so far, and there are many restrictions.  The business HCI Alternatives has two medical marijuana dispensaries in the state now.