Legal Cannabis in Illinois

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To obtain medical marijuana in Illinois you must be a registered patient with the Illinois Medical Cannabis program. If you need help applying for a medical card we are happy to help.

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medical cannabis outreach (new)

As part of our goal to serve local communities we have partnered with Medical Cannabis Outreach, an organization devoted to educating communities about the medical properties of cannabis and helping people navigate the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The group offers free services to patients and caregivers who need assistance applying for a medical card in Illinois, and hosts free informational seminars regarding medical cannabis and the Illinois law.

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Persons diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less may apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card valid for six months with no application fee.

To qualify a patient must:

  • Be a resident of the State of Illinois at the time of application and remain a resident during participation in the program
  • Have been diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less
  • Submit a complete application
  • Make sure your physician completes and signs the physician confirmation of diagnosis of terminal illness. This form must be signed in blue ink. The in-person physical examination must take place within 90 days of the application submission date.
  • Not hold a school bus permit or Commercial Driver’s License
  • Not be an active duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter.
  • Select a caregiver, if desired (persons under age 18 may have two caregivers)

Fill out the request form on the Illinois Department of Health website to request a medical cannabis card for a terminal illness. Online applications are not available for terminal patients.

Terminal Patient Request

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 III of Illinois Controlled Substances Act, and be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois. In addition, you must have a pre-existing relationship with the medical provider relating to the treatment of your illness. The physician must mail the Physician Written Certification Form to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761-0001

Download the Form

The physician must:

  • Have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient. The bona-fide physician-patient relationship may not be limited to issuing a written certification for the patient or a consultation simply for that purpose.
  • Have responsibility for the ongoing care and treatment of the qualifying patient's debilitating condition, provided that the ongoing treatment and care shall not be limited to or for the primary purpose of certifying a debilitating medical condition or providing a consultation solely for that purpose.
  • Complete an in-person full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination, not more than 90 days prior to making the certification for medical cannabis. The assessment of the qualifying patient's current medical condition shall include, but not be limited to, symptoms, signs and diagnostic testing related to the debilitating medical condition.
  • Certify that the qualifying patient is under the physician's care, either for the qualifying patient's primary care or for his or her debilitating medical condition or symptoms of a debilitating medical condition.

As of August 1, 2016 the physician DOES NOT need to recommend that medical cannabis will provide palliative relief for your condition. The physician must only certify that you do have a covered condition.

Veterans may submit VA medical records relating to their condition for the past year in place of the Physician Written Certification Form.

You can either apply for a one-year, two-year, or three-year medical cannabis patient card. You must apply for renewal 45 days before expiration. Fees for card renewal are the same as fees for the initial application.

There is a non-refundable one-time application fee depending on the duration of the card you are applying for. The fees are $100 for a one-year registry card, $200 for a two-year registry card and $250 for a 3-year registry card. Persons enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income programs, as well as veterans, are eligible for reduced fees: $50 for a one year registry card, $100 for a 2 year registry card and $125 for a 3 year registry card.

SSDP or SSI participants must include a copy of their verification letter dated last year, and veterans must supply a copy of their DD214.

  1. Physician Certification Form mailed in by your physician
  2. A completed application form (physical or online)
  3. Application fee
  4. Photograph – 2” x 2”, passport style
  5. Proof of residency – Two types. Utility bills, government issued ID, bank statements, etc. Full list on the application.
  6. Proof of age and identity – Unexpired government issued photo ID
  7. Completed fingerprint consent form and receipt from a Livescan Vendor. Be sure the form includes the Transaction Control Number given by the vendor.  Find your nearest Livescan vendor here.

Yes, a caregiver may be designated by a qualifying patient as the person authorized to possess, obtain from a certified medical cannabis dispensary, dispense and assist in the administration of medical cannabis. Caregivers may not be designated by more than one patient, and must not be patients themselves. Caregivers cannot be paid for these services related to medical cannabis other than reimbursement of reasonable expenses (i.e. gas, parking, etc.)

The application contains a portion for caregivers, and caregivers must pay a fee of $75.

Yes, patients under 18 that have one of the qualifying illnesses may be enrolled in the program, with their parent or legal guardian as caregiver.

Registered qualifying patients and designated caregivers may possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis in a 14-day period.

It is not legal to grow your own medical cannabis, even for card-holding patients or caregivers. Medical cannabis can only be grown at licensed cultivation centers.

Yes, medical cannabis patients are able to cook with the medicine they purchase from licensed dispensaries. These edibles should be treated just like medicine bought from a dispensary and CANNOT be legally shared with or sold to anyone else.

See Eligible Conditions