Chicago’s first medical marijuana clinic, Good Intentions LLC, opened its doors to a string of new patients Wednesday in Wicker Park.
The clinic, strategically opened near the Kennedy Expressway and adjacent to two other medical facilities on Ashland Avenue, accepted its first patients at 10 a.m.; by mid-morning, DNAinfo Chicago reported more than 30 patients had already visited.
“We’ll be informing people about the Illinois medical marijuana program,” Good Intentions owner and registered nurse Tammy Jacobi told Fox Chicago. “We’re going to be establishing relationships with our doctor. We’re encouraging patients to contact primary doctors first but we want people to know that we’re here, they can talk to us, find out if medical marijuana may be right for them.”
Jacobi, who also ran a similar clinic in Michigan, said the list of illnesses that can be treated with medical marijuana is much shorter in Illinois. Such illnesses like cancer, lupus and HIV are eligible, as are conditions like glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and residual limb pain.
Under Illinois law, clinics like Good Intentions can’t dispense marijuana or prescribe it, though patients can get a medical marijuana card from them. Clinics also have trouble with banking and financial services and may need a specialized merchant account that caters to high risk companies. The card can be used at a registered medical marijuana dispensary if a doctor approves the patient for one of the 40-some conditions eligible under state law.
Last week Illinois became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana, though the law won’t go into effect until January 2014.