First medical marijuana dispensary in opens in Illinois
History was made in Marion, Illinois, when Harbory became the first medical marijuana dispensary to legally open its doors.
Harbory is starting off with 13 full-time employees and will offer counseling, massage, and acupuncture.
However, it could be some time before Harbory actually issues medicinal marijuana because of supply.
After living with Fibromyalgia for years, Colleen Marsinko says every day is a constant struggle.
"Every day is difficult,” said Marsinko. “You’ve got pain in your muscles. There are different trigger points in my back, neck, and everywhere else. For the most part, I have it head to toe."
Marsinko takes pain medicine four times a day, but the pain doesn’t go away.
She hopes medical marijuana will bridge the gaps left by traditional pain killers.
"I consider it more like a Band-Aid,” said Marsinko. “If you take it, and a couple of hours later you’re out of luck until the next dose. There are still periods of time when you have pain."
Dr. Michelle Koo say stories like this are why she wanted to open Harbory.
Koo’s mother, who lived in California, was denied marijuana before her death.
"Her physician didn’t believe in medical marijuana, which I was really surprised by,” said Koo. “I saw her really deteriorate."
Now Koo hopes to bring marijuana to the mainstream and apply a medical model to its use.
"There just haven’t been alternatives,” said Dr. Koo. “We feel that this is a very viable option, and we want to do it safely."
To limit potential abuse of the drug, each patient is only allowed 2.5 ounces of medicinal marijuana every 14 days.
Harbory hopes to distribute seven strains of medical marijuana by the end of October or early November.
Because of limited supply the dispensary will not be offering extracts or edibles at this time.