East Peoria – A medical-marijuana dispensary is to open early next month in East Peoria.
The NuMed dispensary is to occupy space the Fashion Bug women’s clothing store once filled at 504 Riverside Drive. It’s in a strip mall located next to the Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
The opening is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 7, according to Ben Rediger, the NuMed consulting partner for public relations and patient/community outreach. Public previews are planned for next week.
“The community, I think, is ripe for more engagement on this,” said Rediger, who is based in Morton. “I think this location will drive it, because it’s next door to the busiest restaurant in the community. You have the Festival of Lights. You’ve got all the Christmas shopping.”
The dispensary is one of two allocated to the Illinois State Police district that consists of Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties. The other dispensary, which Trinity Compassionate Care Centers operates, is located in Peoria.
Rediger once was affiliated with Trinity. He also has helped Wheaton-based NuMed open a dispensary in Urbana; it debuted in late October. Another NuMed dispensary is planned for Chicago.
Those facilities and others are to sell marijuana-based creams, inhalers, patches and suppositories, among other conveyances, to patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program. Cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder are among about 40 conditions the program covers.
The East Peoria facility is about 2,500 square feet. It features an outer office that looks similar to the drive-through window at a bank. Patients will be asked to present state documentation, then allowed to enter a room that includes consultation areas and displays of what products are available.
The displays are to be empty, however. The actual products are stored in a vault in another room. At least two people are to be working in the office simultaneously, according to Rediger.
“They’re extremely knowledgeable about the medication, but they’re also compassionate,” Rediger said. “We need both here. This is not something that’s easy to understand at first, and you have people who are scared. This is their last resort.”
Patients will be allowed to purchase 2½ ounces of product every two weeks, according to Rediger. An ounce can cost between $300 and $350. Insurance doesn’t cover it.
The sales facility has to meet a 78-point state checklist, Rediger said. Employees also are subject to state screening, which includes a background check.
Rediger expects the East Peoria outlet to handle between 250 and 500 patients in its first year. He believes the Peoria-area market is capable of sustaining 5,000 patients by the scheduled end of the state program, which is to run through 2019.
Part of Rediger’s mission is to educate the public, employers and local medical providers about medical marijuana. That includes collection of patient data to determine the products’ effectiveness. Rediger suggested acceptance has been slow.
“In the bigger picture, it’s about getting the hospitals and the physicians on board, so there’s engagement on their end,” he said. “There’s still a ton of apprehension.
“This is going to take time, and in order to make it thrive, you need the engagement and the interaction from the biggest players in town.”
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Full Article: Medical-Cannabis Dispensary To Open In East Peoria
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