New dispensaries, more cannabis card holders in Illinois

Medical marijuana, for some people, is a life-changing medicine making a world of difference.

"I have a way to treat myself that isn’t so invasive that it keeps me from being able to function as a person, and as a parent, and as a member of society," said Nathaniel Pape, a cannabis user in Illinois. 

Easier access to medical marijuana is helping the 5,500 cannabis card holders in the state pick up their medicine a whole lot easier. Now, access to more dispensaries is helping the state’s pilot program change lives.

Pape says before cannabis, he had frequent seizures and migraines. But now, his health is drastically different.

"Miraculous. And for the same product to not be invasive and not be something that’s going to leave you hungover or unable to function, any of those things, makes it that much better," Pape said.

Nearly $2 million-worth of cannabis products were sold in Illinois last month alone. And now, you can pick up that product in Anna.

Rosie Naumovski, co-owner of Thrive dispensaries in Anna and Harrisburg, says they’re glad to see their patients seeing big improvements in their health.

"Whether they need help sleeping or whether it’s an appetite stimulant, a lot of times people will tell you their whole stories and we like that because it’s positive," said Naumovski.

Naumovski says she’s hoping the program will soon add more health conditions.

"It’s extremely frustrating to me. I think of the veterans specifically right now with the PTSD conditions and all the great good it could be doing if they were allowed to access it," Pape said.

He says he hopes the medicine that changed his life can soon help others, too.

Thrive in Anna officially opens to cannabis card holders on May 2.

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