SAVOY — Medical Cannabis Outreach plans to open a new clinic in Savoy next month.
It will be open one day a week and will have a physician on hand to evaluate and certify patients who qualify for medical-cannabis use, according to Medical Cannabis Outreach owner Eric Sweatt.
The clinic, at 1801 Woodfield Drive, two doors up the street from Triptych Brewing, will also provide other services needed to become a medical-cannabis user, such as state-required fingerprinting and help with application forms, he said.
A service promoting medical cannabis, Medical Cannabis Outreach operates several other clinics, among them at sites in Shelbyville, Clinton and Pekin.
Sweatt said he began looking for a clinic site in the Champaign-Urbana area a month ago, because demand for these services has grown.
Its Illinois clinics have doubled patient volume from 100 a month to nearly 200 a month over the past year, he said.
He selected the Savoy building partly because it's been remodeled, it's accessible to people with disabilities and it's near one of the two medical cannabis dispensaries in Champaign-Urbana — Phoenix Botanical, about a mile north at 1704 S. Neil St., C.
The Savoy clinic site will open April 4.
It will be open by appointment only on Wednesdays, Sweatt said. Medical Cannabis Outreach is taking appointments for the clinic at 309-338-8900.
Nobody will be able to go directly from this clinic to Phoenix Botanical or NuMed, a cannabis dispensary in Urbana, right away to buy medical-cannabis products. It takes about 90 days for the state to process an application and mail a registry ID card to a qualified patient, Sweatt said.
Meanwhile, Medical Cannabis Outreach plans to offer a free public seminar focusing on medical-marijuana treatment from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Champaign Public Library.
There will be a medical-cannabis-friendly physician from Chicago available via Skype, along with registered nurses who will be speaking and patients giving their own testimonials.
As of the Illinois Department of Public Health's latest update, on Wednesday, the state has approved applications for medical-cannabis use for about 33,000 patients.
The state currently has 53 licensed medical-cannabis dispensaries that, together, have done $17.3 million in sales so far this calendar year — $8.5 million of that in February.
Since the state began accepting applications for the medical-cannabis registry program in September 2014, about 38,800 people have submitted complete applications, according to IDPH.
Under Illinois' medical-cannabis program, a physician must certify that a potential cannabis user has one of the more than three dozen medical conditions that qualify, among them cancer, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV/AIDS.