Updated on August 13, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
Phone: (855) 636-3688
Website: Illinois Medical Cannabis Program
Free Help Completing Applications Is Available Through Illinois Local Health Departments here.
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.
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.
In August 2018, Former Governor Bruce Rauner approved The Alternative to Opioids Act which allows patients to treat over 40 debilitating conditions with medical marijuana instead of opioids. The bill comes in reaction to the more than 72,000 lives lost due to fatal opioid overdoses in 2017.
As per Senate Bill 10, the Illinois pilot program scheduled to end January 2018, has effectively been extended to July 01, 2020. Additionally, two new medical conditions have also been added to the qualifying list of medical conditions: post-traumatic stress disorder; and patients with a terminal illness and prognosis of fewer than six months to live.
“The first medical cannabis dispensary opened for business in Illinois on November 9, 2015. A total of twenty dispensaries were licensed in Illinois by December 31, 2015”, Illinois Medical Cannabis Registry Pilot Program Mid-Year Report [Accessed March 01, 2016]
On April 18, 2014, the Department of Public Health released the revised preliminary rules, eliminating the restrictions on gun owners who may apply for a medical marijuana card. In addition, the application fees were reduced to $100 ($50 fee for eligible patients on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance, and veterans), and only $25 for caregivers.
On July 20, 2014, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 2636, amending the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act to allow children under the age of 18, to be treated with non-smokable forms of medical marijuana, for the same qualifying conditions as outlined for adults. Underage patients require at least two doctor signatures and parents or guardians of the underage patient must serve as caregiver. Effective January 01, 2015, Senate Bill 2636, also added seizures, including those related to epilepsy, to the list of qualifying medical conditions.
On April 17, 2013, House Bill 1 was approved by the House 61-57, which was followed by the approval of the Senate 35-21, on May 17, 2013. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, signed the bill into law on August 01, 2013, making it effective January 01, 2014.
Known as the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”, HB 1 established a patient registry program, to protect the registered qualifying patients and their registered appointed caregivers, from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege”. It also includes provisions for cultivation centers and dispensing organizations.
On August 01, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn released a signing statement that outlines the key points of the law and stipulates that this is a four-year pilot program.
On January 21, 2014, the Department of Health released the draft proposed rules for public comment. Included in the proposal are rules that prohibit qualifying patients and caregivers “are NOT eligible for a Firearm Owners ID card, or a Firearm Concealed Carry License”, as well as instating an annual $150 application fee for all qualifying patients, and proposing a fingerprint-based criminal history background check.
The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program states that physicians recommending medical marijuana may be doctors of medicine or osteopathy licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Qualifying physicians must have a current controlled substances license under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (Article II).
The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act defines an “adequate supply” specifically as “2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days, derived solely from an intrastate source”. Illinois patients and caregivers are strictly prohibited from cultivating cannabis.
Qualified patients in Illinois may choose to see a marijuana doctor online instead of in-person, using the telemedicine portal, provided that a medical marijuana telemedicine doctor first establish a bonafide relationship with the patient in-person, after which all follow-up visits may be conducted via medical marijuana telemedicine services, online.
The State of Illinois has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Illinois Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Illinois state guidelines.
Since the Illinois medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new Illinois medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the Illinois medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about Illinois’s Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following Illinois medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of Illinois’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in Illinois.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of Illinois’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states”.