In August of 2013, Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois signed and enacted into legislation, a proposed medical marijuana measure, that was responsible for establishing an alternative treatment for serious disease causing chronic pain and debilitating conditions.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, established a patient registry program, protects registered qualifying patients and registered designated caregivers from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege,” and allows for the registration of cultivation centers and medical marijuana dispensaries.

How Can I get a Medical Marijuana card in Illinois?

In order to qualify for a medical card and legally purchase marijuana, you must fulfill the following qualifications:

  • Be 18 years of age or older (minors need two physician recommendations as well as consent from their legal guardian),
  • Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
  • Have consent from a physician.
  • Be an Illinois state resident with proof of residency

For any questions regarding patient and caregiver registration, call or email the DPH Division of Medical Cannabis at 855-636-3688 or DPH.MedicalCannabis@illinois.gov.

Fees After August 1, 2016
One-time Application Fee for 3-Year Card $300.00
One-time Fingerprint Background Check (est. Chicago Area) 62.00
2nd Background Check, if finger prints are rejected (est.) 37.00
Illinois State Police Name-Based Check, if fingerprints are rejected again 16.00
Ave. One-time Personal Physical Exam fee (Some physicians may require multiple visits)* 500.00
Passport photo 20.00
Estimated One-time Costs per Patient for a Three-Year Card $935.00

Medical Cannabis Registry Identification Card Application Fees (Reduced Cost for Adult Qualifying Patients)

Fees After August 1, 2016
One-time Application Fee for 3-Year Card $150.00
One-time Fingerprint Background Check (est. Chicago Area) 62.00
2nd Background Check, if finger prints are rejected (est.) 37.00
Illinois State Police Name-Based Check, if fingerprints are rejected again 16.00
Ave. One-time Personal Physical Exam fee (Some physicians may require multiple visits)* 500.00
Passport photo 20.00
Estimated One-time Costs per Patient for a Three-Year Card $785.00
Potential Cost Savings per Patient Based on One-Time Card Application Fee – $1,270
  • Veterans who receive health services at a Veteran’s Administration (VA) facility are not required to obtain a physician’s written certification, but must submit 12 months of VA records to the Department with their application.

Which conditions qualify for Medical Marijuana in Illinois?

The following list of medical conditions qualify for medical cannabis:

And many more…

Can qualifying conditions be added to the list?

Yes. The Illinois Department of Health can add conditions, for example, PTSD was added on June 30, 2016.

Where can I find a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Illinois?

Due to personal/professional reasons, not all doctors will sign medical marijuana papers for you. In order for a doctor to be able to sign your paperwork, they have to fit the following description from the Illinois Department of Public Health:

“The medical provider must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987. have a controlled substances license under Article II of Illinois Controlled Substances Act, be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois, and have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are certifying for medical cannabis.”

Where are the Cannabis Dispensaries located?

There are numerous medical marijuana dispensaries located all over the state. Finding one could be easy but if you’re not sure how to do so, we have a handy list of dispensaries straight from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

What can I get from an Illinois Dispensary?

The law allows patients to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks from one of the 60 dispensing organizations that will be supplied by the 22 cultivation centers.  Dispensing organization and cultivation centers will be able to produce flowers, edibles, tinctures, and topicals.

Where can I Smoke?

You can smoke medical marijuana in your home or private property, if you have permission to do so. Using medical cannabis is prohibited in a school bus, on the grounds of any school, in any correctional facility, in any motor vehicle, in a private residence used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises and in any public place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others.
Using medical cannabis is also prohibited in a health care facility or any other place where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke-free Illinois Act and knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 18.

How are patients are caregivers protected from discrimination?

Registered patients are protected under the Act from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board, for the medical use of medical cannabis in accordance with this Act.”

Property owners will have the opportunity to ban marijuana on their grounds.

Under the Act, Illinois employers are prohibited from discriminating against or penalizing a person based solely on his or her status as a patient qualified and registered to receive medical marijuana. Employers may still, however, still have a significant amount of flexibility to enforce their workplace policies. For example, according to the very language of the Act, employers may still enforce a “policy concerning drug testing, zero-tolerance, or a drug free workplace provided the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.”

The future of Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program:

 Illinois might add more qualifying medical conditions and increase the amount of dispensaries to serve more patients. It is currently unknown if the state would allow patients to cultivate their own marijuana plants.