Jars containing various strands of medical marijuana sit behind a display case at the River Rock Medical Marijuana Center in Denver, Colorado, on May 16, 2013. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images) | Getty
It turns out a lot of Chicagoans really want to get their hands on some medical marijuana -- even though the state's new law legalizing it (under tight restrictions) still doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1.
In the two months that have passed since Good Intentions, the city's first medical marijuana "clinic," opened its doors in Wicker Park, it has received 20,000 requests for care, DNAinfo Chicago reports.
The clinic does not and will not dispense marijuana, but it will be able to offer patients a medical marijuana card which can be used at a dispensary after a doctor at the clinic approves the patient for one of the 40-some medical conditions eligible under the four-year medical marijuana pilot program Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law this summer.
Among those illnesses are cancer, lupus and HIV are eligible, plus conditions including glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and residual limb pain.
Despite the law's many restrictions -- it is considered to be among the strictest medical marijuana law in the nation -- Good Intentions spokeswoman Tammy Jacobi said her clinic hasn't been able to keep up with the number of calls they're fielding. Jacobi is also behind a similar clinic in Saugatuck, Mich.
"We have to follow the rules," she told CBS Chicago, "and as much as we'd like to move this program along as quickly as we can to help some of these patients who are going to pass away before it takes effect."
Meanwhile, the clinic is also behind the new Thomas Jefferson Project, an initiative with the goal of helping potential medical marijuana users navigate the many regulations for the drug's legal use.