Updated on August 13, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
August 2019 – Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 455 expanding Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program. This will become effective Jan 1, 2020. The pilot program, originally effective until 2020, has now been formally signed into a permanent program. The bills also added eleven (11) new qualifying conditions, expands the range of medical professionals who can certify qualified patients and expands Medical Marijuana access in schools.
Patients in Illinois diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Illinois Medical Marijuana law, as per the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act:
New Conditions that have been signed into law that become effective Jan 1, 2020:
To qualify for Illinois’ Medical Cannabis program:
Illinois Patient Registry Application Fees:
Application Fees are reduced for persons enrolled in federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs with a “Benefit Verification Letter” from the Social Security Administration (Letter must be dated within the last year and must show Patient’s Name, Address & Type of Benefits Received).
Veterans who receive health services from Veteran’s Administration (VA) Facilities are not required to obtain a written certification from a physician, but can instead submit 12 months of VA records along with their application.
Application Fees (Designated Caregivers):
The Illinois Marijuana Registry is mandatory and does NOT accept other state’s registry cards.
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Illinois will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
According to Illinois medical marijuana laws, an adequate supply is specifically defined as 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days, derived solely from an intrastate source. The cultivation of cannabis by Illinois patients and caregivers is NOT permitted.
Illinois legislatures were considering a proposal that would make recreational use of marijuana legal in Illinois. Not only would patients meeting medical marijuana qualifications in Illinois be able to legally possess up to an ounce of weed, but any adults 21 years of age and older would as well. Advocates estimate that legalizing pot could bring up to $700 million annually in new revenues.