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Illinois program helps people switch from opioids to medical marijuana

Quincy (WGEM) — There is a new program in Illinois that is trying to provide a new way for people to switch from highly addicted Opioids to medical marijuana.

It’s called the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP). The state says it’s designed to provide people with an option to manage their pain while combating the opioid epidemic.

In Quincy, Herbal Remedies Dispensary on 44th and Broadway is seeing an increase already in patients and they expect it to grow because the program provides faster access to the medicine.

Autumn Sangrey, HR Manager at Herbal Remedies Dispensary said,

“Prior to the opioid bill being launched, the regular cannabis patient would have had to wait about 90 days from the time that they submitted their application to the time that they receive their card. What the state has enabled the patients to do now is once they apply, they have access to it the very next day.”

Patients who qualify must be at least 21 years old and a $10 fee is required. To sign up, you need to see a doctor, then complete a certification using the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System online. Once registered, you must present the card at the dispensary to start buying.

Individuals looking to register for the OAPP can now do so online through the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System at The OAPP, which is part of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), was created through the Alternative to Opioids Act of 2018. The OAPP allows access to medical cannabis for individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois.

More information on the program can be found here.

Jim Roberts

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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