Medical Cannabis Popularity Surges in the State of Illinois


Deerfield Litchfield Mokena Morris

Posted on October 23rd, 2019 by Greenhouse Staff

Since the State of Illinois introduced changes to the Medical Cannabis Program, it has seen record growth. This is mainly due to the expansion of the program, which made it easier for patients to participate. Not only did the state drop requirements for patient fingerprints and criminal background checks, but as of August 2019, 12 new qualifying conditions were added to the list. Most notably, chronic pain was officially added to the list of approved conditions.

Expansion of Conditions

One of the biggest factors in the increase in patients this past fiscal year is the addition of new conditions. While some of the conditions are less common, such as Polycystic Kidney disease and Superior canal dehiscence syndrome, conditions such as chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines are all newly added as of August 2019.

By adding chronic pain as an approved condition, patients no longer have to be certified by doctors for one of the approved chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia. Chronic pain was added after the fiscal year ended on June 30, so there is less data about the addition of chronic pain, unlike some changes to the program.

While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was added back in 2016, there is more and more evidence that this was beneficial to the patients as well as the program. PTSD is by far the most common condition cited by patients, and it can also be used as a catchall for mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

Lastly, the new Opioid Alternative Pilot Program, which launched early 2019, has been a success. This program allows patients to choose medical cannabis over prescription painkillers, in an effort to decrease the use of addictive opioids in the state. Between the launch and June 30, 2,200 new patients were added and another 1,000 are awaiting certification.

Greenhouse Can Help!

As more and more realize the benefits of medical cannabis for their approved conditions, we continue to see growth in the medical cannabis program in the State of Illinois. If you are a certified patient or would like to learn more, turn to Greenhouse today!

Courtesy of: Chicago Tribune

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