Illinois marijuana shortage has Rockford medical cannabis patients concerned

TFT-admin | January 21, 2020

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Illinois adult use cannabis has been legal for nearly a month, but some Rockford medical cannabis patients say they fear the shortage may affect their medication.

“Terror…” says Alicia Neubauer, about the thought of not having her medicine. Neubauer is an Illinois medical marijuana patient who says she is living with Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer. A disease she says without cannabis would leave her with immense pain.

“[It] means that… I won’t have any relief. Cause the only time… that I actually have relief… of pain. is when I am sleeping,” says Neubauer.

She says having the drug helps her avoid waking with pain.

“It’s absolutely important and it helps to keep me asleep,” says Neubauer. “It helps to prevent break through pain keeping me awake.”

Alicia says doctors offer her opioid drugs for her nausea and pain, but she chooses cannabis.

“I choose cannabis because the side effects of the other medications are too great for me,” says Neubauer.

She says she’s been using medical cannabis for a little over two years, around the time she received her diagnosis. She says since the legalization of adult use cannabis, the products she says work best for her have become harder to find.

Mapleglen Care Center in Rockford agrees.

“We’re kind of doing battles with the growers every day to purchase as much as we possibly can,” says Amy Manganelli, Mapleglen Care Center owner. “And to get it onto our shelves as quickly as possible.”

The dispensary says the key to getting through the shortage will mean patience, something it understands is not an easy ask.

“Saying I know, and my heart’s breaking for you, and I’m sorry it doesn’t really cut it,” says Manganelli.

Mapleglen Care Center has the proper license to sell recreational, adult use cannabis, but it says it chooses not to. They say it’s because supplies are not stable enough.

“I really feel it’s my responsibility to stay medical,” says Manganelli.

13 News reached out to Rockford’s Sunnyside dispensary, but did not hear back. Last week it sent a statement:

“Sunnyside dispensaries continue to make medical patients our top priority and will be open for them only for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, reserving our supply to make sure they can always get their medicine.”


By Alexxis Kerry