Friday, August 2, 2013


What is believed to be Chicago's first medical marijuana clinic is set to open next week as Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation today making Illinois the 20th state to legalize pot for patients with certain conditions. Good Intentions LLC, at 1723 N. Ashland Ave. in the Wicker Park neighborhood, will start accepting patients Aug. 7, said Tammy Jacobi, clinic president. "We're very excited about it," said Ms. Jacobi, a registered nurse who has run a similar clinic since October 2011 in Saugatuck, Mich. That state legalized medical marijuana in 2008. "We're already getting calls from people asking if they can invest." Although the law doesn't take effect until Jan. 1, Ms. Jacobi said her clinic does not have to wait for regulations to be issued by the state because it won't dispense or cultivate marijuana or be associated with that end of the business. "That's not what we do," she said. "We're the first step before anyone gets a card" allowing them to buy up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days if they are diagnosed with one of several diseases specified in the bill. According to Ms. Jacobi and news reports, the medical marijuana dispensary she ran in Saugatuck was shut down by the state in 2011, but she continued in the business of helping people qualify for medical marijuana. The reason for starting the Chicago clinic now is that under the law, "patients are required to have an existing relationship with a doctor" to get a recommendation that allows them to buy marijuana, she said. "They won't be able to walk in to any doctor and get it signed" on Jan. 1. The practice will be managed in conjunction with Big Rapids Surgery-Chicago, headed by Dr. Brian Murray, who also works with medical marijuana patients in Michigan.
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