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Security is paramount at Collinsville marijuana dispensary

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KPLR) - Medical marijuana will soon be available to Illinois patients with a doctor's referral and a state approved card.  Construction is underway at a state approved dispensary in Collinsville located a block away from the Illinois State police office. As soon as a final inspection by state inspectors is complete, the firm, HCI Alternatives expects to open its doors.

Some 40 surveillance cameras, a concrete lined vault and a protective sally port are part of the security system that is being installed. The firm's Director of Compliance and Security, Scott Abbott is a retired Illinois State police officer. He says he opposed medical marijuana as a law-enforcement officer for fear it would be abused. But he is now convinced it can serve as a less dangerous alternative to narcotics.

Abbott says "I think Illinois, in particular, has taken a very critical eye at their security component and their dispensing component so we're better able to eliminate diversions."

Insurance will not cover this. Patients can expect to pay $380-$400 an ounce for the medical marijuana. It will be available in a variety of compounds including lotions, creams, transdermal patches, pills and vapors. Patients will not need to smoke it if they do not want to. Under Illinois law medical cannabis must be consumed in a private setting.