Shelby County medical marijuana site provides jobs to disabled

Shelby County medical marijuana site provides jobs to disabled

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The Shelby County Community Services medical marijuana growing facility has given jobs to disabled people and helped fund the organization that’s seen a dwindling supply of state funding, according to its executive director. For decades, Shelby County Community Services has relied on state and local financial support to provide its mental health and rehabilitation programs. The Illinois government has been slashing psychiatric funding, which has hurt the organization, Executive Director Tom Colclasure said. But thanks to its 1,550-page application that won them the only District 10 cultivation permit in Feb. 2015, the human services group might see enough revenue from medical cannabis to fund some of its already established programs and add more. "That’s my hope for the future," said Colclasure. "But the competition is fierce between the cultivators." He said just under 19,000 Illinoisans have been approved for the state’s medical marijuana program. But the future, if it ends up like Arizona’s 85,000 patients, may be much brighter. Besides Shelby County, District 10 includes Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, and Vermilion counties. At the group’s main location at 1810 West South 3rd in Shelbyville, severely disabled workers fill pots with soil before those pots are transferred to the 23,750-square-foot grow facility outside of town. While it would make sense economically to do this at the cultivation center, Colclasure said, the disabled workers need plenty of supervision and direction. Workers with higher functioning disabilities, Colclasure said, trim the plants and do janitorial work at the center. About 10 disabled workers benefit from Shelby County’s grow facility. "The work provides people dignity," he said. "It gives them personal satisfaction and independence, and it helps normalize them. Plus they get funds to do what they want with." Disabled residents that SCCS helps do not use medical cannabis themselves, but […]

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