Photo by Joe Boyle
Sales have improved over the past year for medicinal marijuana prescriptions at the dispensary in Worth
While sales of medicinal marijuana has not reached overall expectations in Illinois, that can’t be said for the dispensary in Worth, where business has been doing quite well.
“The Worth dispensary is doing well and the numbers are good,” said Steven Weismann, CEO of Windy City Cannabis. “But there are many more patients that want, but are being denied access to, medical cannabis.”
Weismann has seen a rise in medicinal sales at the Worth location, 11425 S. Harlem Ave. He also has Windy City Cannabis locations in Homewood, Justice and Posen. He visits the dispensaries each week and sometimes drops in at all four facilities in a day. He is encouraged by the response he receives in Worth and the other centers.
“The people who come in there are incredibly grateful,” Weismann said. “They tell us all the time.”
Worth Mayor Mary Werner also said that sales have improved and the village has grown to accept the presence of the dispensary. This is almost a complete turnaround from a year ago when the mayor voiced concerns during a “State of the Village” address if the dispensary was going to remain open.
“Initially, it was a lengthy process and expensive to get these medications,” Werner said. “I think we have eliminated those concerns. We have seen more sales since.”
Worth is doing better than some other medical marijuana facilities. Weismann is pleased that Senate Bill 10 passed in July 2016 that extended the expiration date for the pilot program from April 2018 to July 2020. Veterans and other individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are eligible for medical marijuana in Illinois. The disorder was added to the list in 2016.
Weismann’s initial worries about the pilot program was that many doctors were hesitant to suggest that patients be treated with medicinal marijuana. Doctors no longer need to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients. Instead, they can now “certify” that there is a doctor-patient relationship and that the patient suffers from a qualifying condition for medical marijuana with the passage of Senate Bill 10.
With the addition of PTSD in 2016, some ailments and diseases that Illinois law recognizes for patients who qualify for medical marijuana use with a doctor’s signature are cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis.
Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C. The drug still remains illegal under federal law.
While adding PTSD for medicinal treatment is a step in the right direction, Weismann said there are too many other ailments that are not being treated. The Rauner administration has rejected osteoarthritis and migraine headaches.
Werner is more optimistic about the program than a year ago when sales were slim. She helps to organize monthly meetings at the Worth Village Hall where patients provide testimonials about their health improvements through the use of medicinal marijuana.
Weismann said the facility in Worth is exceeding expectations and believes it will improve. However, he believes the Rauner administration could be more cooperative.
“There are many ailments not included in the current program that are included in other state programs,” Weismann said. “I think a great place to start would be to allow cannabis use as substitute for opioid pain medications.
“The governor has taken a very negative approach to medical cannabis, even though studies continue to show that medical cannabis is a safe and life-saving alternative to opioid pain medication,” Weismann added. “We should be encouraging and supporting anything that can help the opioid crisis in our state.”
More information can be obtained by contacting WindyCityCannabis.com.