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Step-By-Step Guide To The Illinois Medical Marijuana Program

Step-By-Step Guide To The Illinois Medical Marijuana Program

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 01/05/2015 in Medical Marijuana Laws

On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which went into effect January 1, 2014.

Shortly after, the State began accepting applications from potential medical marijuana patients whose last names begins with “A-L”. Patients in this grouping had up until October 31, 2014 to submit their applications to the State. As of November 1, until December 31, all patients with last names beginning “M-Z” were permitted to follow suit and submit their applications to the State accordingly. From January 2015, the enrollment process will be open to all patients, irrespective of the first letter of their last name.

In order to qualify for the Illinois Medical Marijuana program, the State, as per the Illinois Department of Public Health, requires that the qualifying patient be diagnosed with one of the following conditions: (If you are a patient and a resident in Illinois, and your medical condition is not listed as one of the qualifying conditions mandated by the State, you may petition the Illinois Department of Public Health to have your medical condition added to the existing list of debilitating medical conditions included in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The Department is currently developing a process to consider such petitions. They will also be establishing an advisory board and holding public hearings. Petitions are not yet being accepted, however patients are encouraged to visit the Departments website regularly for all updates)

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Arnold-Chiari Malformation and , yringomelia, Cachexia / Wasting syndrome, Cancer, Causalgia, Chronic Inflammatory, Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Crohn’s Disease, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain , yndromes Type II), Dystonia, Fibromyalgia (severe), Fibrous dysplasia, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hydrocephalus, Interstitial Cystitis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Myoclonus, Nail-patella Syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Post-Concussion Syndrome, RSD , Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I), Residual Limb Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis , RA), Seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy (Effective January 1, 2015),Sjogren’s Syndrome, Spinal Cord Disease, including, but not limited to,  Arachnoiditis, Tarlov Cysts, Hydromyelia, Syringomyelia, Spinal Cord Injury, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Tourette’s Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

If you have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions listed above, then the next step is finding a physician to sign off on your medical marijuana paperwork. This may prove to be more difficult than most people realize as a large majority of physicians still do not feel comfortable medically associating with marijuana. This has been an issue experienced by every state to pass medical marijuana laws thus far. Until marijuana is federally recognized as being medicinal, many doctors are not willing to partake in a program that, although State legal, could still get them into trouble federally.

The Illinois Department of Public Health further requires that any medical provider partaking in the medical marijuana program must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987; must have a controlled substances license under Article III of Illinois Controlled Substances Act; must be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois; and must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are certifying for medical cannabis. A “Bona fide physician-patient relationship” requires that the physician be responsible for the ongoing assessment, care and treatment of a patient’s debilitating medical condition, or a symptom of the patient’s debilitating medical condition.

To date there have been approximately 11,000 patients who have already applied for the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act – only 600 of those applications were approved, indicating that the selection process is methodical and strict.

There are also new provisions in the rules to allow for children to become patients of the program, however in the case of a child patient, two physicians are required to sign off on all the necessary paperwork.

All applications may be completed online at: https://medicalcannabispatients.illinois.gov or physically mailed to:

Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Medical Cannabis 535 W. Jefferson St. Springfield, IL 62761-0001 The cost of becoming a medical cannabis patient in Illinois is as follows:

Annual qualifying patient application fee

– Annual qualifying patient reduced application fee : $50

– Qualifying patients enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) disability programs, must submit a copy of a letter or other documentation form the Social Security Administration identifying the qualifying patient and showing the amount of monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits to be received by the qualifying patient during the current year of application

– Veterans must provide a copy of their DD214

– Annual caregiver application fee : $25

– Replacement card fee : $25

– Returned check fee : $35

>Once a registered patient of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, patients will not be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana. Instead, patients will be required to obtain their medicine from one of the soon-to-be licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, obtained from one of the soon-to-be licensed medical marijuana growers. Illinois medical marijuana regulators are presently evaluating 369 applications to open 21 grow centers and 60 dispensaries statewide.

CEO and founder of MarijuanaDoctors.com, Jason Draizin, says that although many physicians still do not feel comfortable partaking in the state mandated medical marijuana programs, MarijuanaDoctors.com has established a network of reliable and compassionate physicians, encompassing all the legal states. “We have the largest network of doctors compassionately assisting patients in joining their states medical marijuana programs. MarijuanaDoctors.com was created to help patients navigate around the very real issue of not being able to find a compassionate doctor to medically care for them. Once cannabis is federally rescheduled and recognized for its medical benefit, more doctors will open up their practices to patients in need.”

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