Why Shelby County is the conscience of Illinois’ medical cannabis industry

For the first time in quite a long while, money is really tight for me right now.

Thank God that a non-profit like Shelby County Community Services is a player in the Illinois medical cannabis space.

And get this: Shelby County Community Services is helping to meet that community’s mental health needs, in spite of Illinois’ dire state budget crisis, by growing and selling medical marijuana. Legally.

Other mental health care providers, of course, are fighting tooth and nail to resist all things cannabis. If we dispel the fear about cannabis, people might find their way off alcohol, hard drugs and psychotropic medications that have dangerous side effects.

Don’t get me wrong. Marijuana can be dangerous for a mentally ill person, too. But far less so under the supervision of a doctor.

More on SCCS in a second.

I just lost my primary client of the past two years, Foundations Recovery Network. I turned in my last story a couple of weeks ago. There are many more awesome Foundations stories in the workflow pipeline that I will continue to post during the next month or so.

Foundations has been a Godsend, a great experience, and an incredible client. They are taking their marketing in a new direction, however, that doesn’t include written content marketing from the platform through which they hired me.

That gig alone paid better than the last full-time newspaper job I had. So, losing them is a bit of a shellshock, I suppose.

Read more: Cannabis K-Cups better than an Ativan drip

The good news is that I was semi-prepared for it. I’m also using it as a way to spend even more time working on my book until I find a really good fit with a new client or three.

And in the meantime, I am grateful for the inexpensive cannabis cultivated by Shelby County Community Services.

Hugs to my Foundations Recovery Network friends

Before I get into the great work of Shelby County Community Services, and how they are as compassionate as the wondrous plant itself, I want to emphasize that Foundations knew about my medical cannabis card. My medical cannabis use and recent blogs about it had nothing to do with why my gig with Foundations has ended.

I think that’s important to share in the context of the medical cannabis discussion. Presumably, a chain of rehabilitation centers and mental health hospitals might take issue with one of their freelance writers penning about medical cannabis.

If they did, they certainly handled it with the utmost professionalism. I asked permission from my brand editor before going public about my card. He said it was fine to blog about it on my own site. He also wished me luck with the treatment.

And I do feel it was genuine. Every interaction I ever have had with all three Foundations Recovery Network editors I have worked with has been kind and professional. You just can’t say that about many bosses over the course of two years.

They even offered to serve as a future reference. Such nice, decent people. I would encourage a loved one in need of treatment to consider their services in a blink.

So, hugs to my Foundations friends! We not only produced great content, we produced some great journalism.

Truly bringing peace to those who need it

Shelby County Community Services serves as the unofficial conscience of Illinois’ medical cannabis industry.

I didn’t fully understand this until yesterday. I had commented to budtender extraordinaire Trinity Lane Indica Ivy at Nature’s Treatment in Milan (Illinois, not Italy) that Shelby County’s strains seemed to be remarkably consistent.

Read more: Check out my portfolio of paid reporting about infectious diseases

She explained that, yes, they are, and that SCCS happens to be a nonprofit organization who employs people facing disadvantages in the workplace.

Indeed, a full 100 percent of the cannabis sales proceeds supports people with disabilities. Check out their website and the important work they do by clicking here.

In addition to providing jobs to the developmentally disabled and culturally marginalized, Shelby County offers substance abuse and outpatient mental health services.

Even more than that, Shelby County is always the most inexpensive cannabis I purchase at the dispensary. And if truth be told, it is by far the most consistent and reliable as it pertains to medicating my anxiety.

It may not get you super-duper high, but if your symptoms are related to anxiety it can make you calm for a relatively low price.

Shelby County keeps cannabis program’s mission in mind

Trinity Lane Indica Ivy sent me home with a brochure about Shelby County Community Services. It also lists their mighty strains of flower, and I mean mighty with a capital ‘M,’ as in medicinal.

As I previously have explained, the Illinois medical cannabis program is truly medicinal. I am getting strains not available in other states that specifically are grown to treat my PTSD-related symptoms.

For example, I tend to smoke a strain called Painkiller No. 1 during the day. It is $35 for 1/8, which is not a bad price.

Here’s what’s unusual: PK No. 1 is 7-8 percent THC and 10-12 percent CBD. It is extraordinarily unusual to find cannabis where the CBD content is actually higher than the THC content. If you can find a 1:1, as a person with PTSD you’re doing great. CBD is what calms your nerves.

Most people just want to know how high the THC is, and operate with the belief that more is better. There is so much more to medicinal cannabis. The topic of terpenes is another blog post altogether.

I will say I have learned it is high THC content that puts me to sleep; not CBD. The trick, of course, is getting it from an indica strain that makes me feel peaceful before I pass out  — like Bio Jesus.

You can check out my review of Bio Jesus here.

THC makes you ‘high,’ CBD makes you calm

I reported during my trip to Colorado in May how I was shocked to see very little cannabis with significant CBD content available even for that state’s medicinal patients.

This seems to be a recurring theme. While everyone is singing “Take me higher,” CBD doesn’t make a person “high.” However, for those of us living with PTSD, the feeling of calmness is so absent from our lives that indeed such peace is euphoric.

“SCCS specializes in CBD rich cannabis strains,” an organization brochure explains. “We focus on all the cannabinoids and terpenes in the medicine, not just THC.”

The other day the dispensary had a sale called “Flower Flight” or something to that effect. The promotion included three grams of flower for $25 (super low price for Illinois medical cannabis). The strains were Z7, Black Mountain Kush, and Thunderstruck.

I found all of them to keep me calm and level. One bowl of Black Mountain Kush is lights out. Nothing wrong with having plenty of that on hand. Lack of sleep can be my biggest enemy.

It was then that I mentioned to Trinity Lane Indica Ivy the value of the Shelby County strains, and she shared with me what I just shared with you.

Please keep following my work to learn more things about medical cannabis that may surprise you. Take care!

Check out my portfolio of paid articles about mental health topics

6 thoughts on “Why Shelby County is the conscience of Illinois’ medical cannabis industry

  1. While I support the idea of municipal Marijuana, I would like to say that this is not the reason for my comment.
    Sccs is far from a compassionate and all the earnings from the municipal Marijuana do not 100% go back into Sccs.
    In my opinion the organization could care less about the clients and what the clients can accomplish. It’s all about the money and what is in it for higher management and the board, and could care less that the clients have strong, compassionate and supportive staff assisting the clients to make their lives more fulfilling.
    This is apparent in the fact, they pay there employees barely above minimum wage in some areas of Sccs, and state because they offer medical insurance, the employees don’t deserve to be compensated for their dedication to the clients.
    I apologize that I ranted on your site, I’m literally Ill at the fact Sccs is portraying themselves as a compassionate organization.
    I wouldn’t trust my fish to their care.


    1. I do not live in Shelby County so I have not heard about this. I live in the Quad-Cities, where mental health care is deplorable. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is bordering on criminal. Thankfully, a new provider, Strategic Behavioral Health, is on the way. The “big two” hospitals (a monopoly here) have strong-armed local doctors into not helping patients get cannabis cards. Thus, we must drive 300 miles round-trip to Chicago despite living in a metropolitan area of nearly half a million people. It’s outrageous. I guess we all have our problems in our communities! It’s all about politics, money, etc. Mainstream healthcare is freaking out that medical cannabis patients in Illinois are feeling better, off their meds, canceling doctors’ appointments, etc. I can understand what you are saying. There are non-profits providing mental health care in my community, too, and they are so low-key many people don’t know they are there. I suspect those folks are not making big paychecks. But I’ll tell you something, and this is the truth. If it weren’t for those places, many people would not seek mental health care here because, quite frankly, our community mental health centers — particularly the one on the Illinois side — have such horrid reputations that people are too frightened to seek treatment there. At one time, it took five months to get in for an appointment. I actually was stripped naked and jailed two days, stripped naked, on no charges at all, for reporting an intruder at my father’s memory care facility a little more than two years ago. Yeah, and I had private health insurance off the exchange and no criminal record other than a DUI eight years prior. I was not charged with anything. I’ll stop before I go into a massive PTSD trigger over the corrupt medical and political communities in the Quad-Cities. The non-profits seem to have caring employees who aren’t corrupt. That may sound conspiracy to you, but if you lived here, or if you knew my personal story, it wouldn’t. But again…I definitely hear what you are saying! I have worked in behavioral health myself three years as a branded content writer, two of those years for a Fortune 500 company. I do understand the business. Not always nice. Thank you very much for taking the time to read the piece (even if it made you ill…sorry!) and I’m sorry it to so very long for me to reply. Have a great weekend!


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