Many of the 20,000+ patients who enrolled in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) are unable to work due to illness and receive disability income. The biggest complaint that patients have about the program is the expense. As one of the most restricted programs in the country, patients must pay not only an application fee, but also a fee for a background check and fingerprinting. If they cannot get any of their doctors to sign the form verifying their condition, they must find a doctor who will sign. This adds an additional expense for 2 doctor visits. Then, there is the cost of the medicine. The projection of patient numbers after 18 months was 100,000. This was very wishful thinking. The cost and the hoops people must jump through just to get a medical cannabis card have deterred some people from enrolling. The fewer the patient numbers, the more expensive the product. Many current patients try and make their product go as far as possible. Many have to go without for days or weeks until they receive their next check. In response, I am sharing tips from patients on how to get the most for their money.
- One way to save money is to use microdosing; using small amounts of cannabis many times a day. All the benefits without the side effects. I wrote an article about it. Here’s the link. While most people find it saves them money, a few people claim it costs them more
- Make your own tinctures out of flower. Use the same flower a second time for a weaker tincture. Reuse the remains from the vaporizer to make edibles. Since it doesn’t have the same potency as a dispensary edible, you’d have to eat more than the recommended dosage to get any benefit. Stock up when you can
- Shop around at different dispensaries to find the best deals with the most beneficial strains for you. You must register with only one dispensary at a time, but it is easy and quick to apply to change dispensaries. Usually 24-48 hours
- Watch for sales and giveaways. Make sure you get on your dispensary’s email list in order to receive that information
- RSO goes further than many of the other products
- Shake is more affordable. Buy it in bulk, if you can
- Use a hitter instead of prerolls
- Buy a gram rather than a smaller amount
- Vaping concentrates and wax are much more cost effective.
- A small pollen press purchased from a head shop can be used to recycle the pollen. The key is a good grinder that can recycle the pollen after you grind it up. The press uses 2 cylinders to compress the recycled pollen into a small disc. This fits nicely into a pipe. It is very strong, so use with caution.
Sadly, many people said they are forced to ration their medicine because they would have to choose between medicine and food or rent.
Midwest Compassion Center (MCC) offers the CannaCrowd Discount Cannabis Program where a particular strain of cannabis flower is heavily discounted for a set period. You must be a patient of MCC to take advantage of it. They also offer a discount for those patients with disabilities, for members of the military and veterans, and a hardship program for those who qualify.
If you have any suggestions you would like to add, please feel free to leave a comment below!