A new facility is now open in Pekin, offering support and services for medical marijuana patients.

“I’m a mother, and I would do anything to help my child as any parent would, I did what I had to do, to help my child.”

Medical marijuana has become a way of life for Stephanie Groutage and her 9-year-old son suffering from seizures.

“I’ve had a fundraiser, T-Shirts, koozies, stuff like that to raise money to help my child,” Groutage said.

Now she’s getting some help. Medical Cannabis Outreach is opening its doors to help people who need the drug get by. 

“We feel like we’re truly pioneers at this and we’re doing the right thing every day by people,” said founder, Caprice Sweatt.

It’s one of the first clinics of its kind in the state.

It doesn’t grow marijuana or distribute it, but instead gives people guidance and even helps some administer it.

“We are engaging all day every day with people so we will stay extremely engaged and following up and them updating us,” Sweatt said.

Leaders hope to collect data on marijuana usage and show some an alternative to traditional drugs.

“I’m amazed by the number of patients that are over the age of 80, they’ve been on other medications and they’re looking for alternatives,” said Dr. Ramon Pla with the groups medical team.

Especially to drugs that contain opiates, like pain killers.

Doctors say they’re addictive and often work as a gateway to more powerful drugs like heroin.

“You get started on a medication, if that doesn’t work, you get a second medicine, if that doesn’t work, you get a third medicine, I’ve seen patients who have had four medicines,” Dr. Pla said.

A similar situation to Groutage, who says the opening of this facility will help change her son’s life.

“We started on the medical cannabis and we have seen no signs of seizures, so a huge change in just a matter of weeks,” Groutage said.