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Medical Marijuana Clinic Teaches Patients How To Cook With Cannabis

CHICAGO (CBS) -- About 30,000 people in Illinois are approved for medical marijuana, but not everyone wants to smoke it.

A cooking class in the northern suburbs is teaching patients how to cook with cannabis.

CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports those with real medical concerns are learning how to cook with coconut oil infused with cannabis in order to help them get longer-lasting relief at a lower cost.

Jody Greco, a medical marijuana patient, says she has made everything from sweets to sautéed vegetables with the cannabis concoction.

Greco, who suffers from arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia, says cooking with cannabis gives her relief and a natural high.

"Being a chef, it's a lot of fun," she said.  "My chef hat went on and I started making heavy cream. By the time I started whisking and stirring, I was making gelato."

Jami Miller works at Clinic Mundelein, a marijuana dispensary.

She said, "A lot of folks don't want that on their lungs. A lot of our patients are pulmonary patients."

To meet that need, the Clinic Mundelein developed seminars to teach patients how to infuse butters and oils with cannabis to use in standard daily recipes.

"Edibles are much more body centric, so when you are dealing with pain, edibles do the job much more efficiently than smoking," Miller explained.

A cannabis cookie can cost $20 at a dispensary, but patients can make one on their own for the equivalent of $1.60 – a savings for patients because cannabis is not covered by insurance.

"I always equate it to making dinner, as opposed to eating out," Miller said.

At the seminar, the instructors use oregano as a substitute, since cannabis is a controlled substance.

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