• Basics of the Illinois Law

Illinois passed a law to legalize cannabis as medicine in a 2013 House Bill that identified it is a four-year pilot program. The law allows qualifying patients to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Cultivation of therapeutic cannabis is not allowed. IL residents who wish to obtain cannabis for medical use must submit an “Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Application” that includes a Physician Written Certification that he or she suffers from one or more qualifying medical conditions, unless he or she is a veteran who receives care at a Veterans Administration facility. In this case the past year of medical records must be submitted in the place of the Physician Written Certification. Currently you are not allowed to use medical marijuana ID cards from other states to obtain Illinois cannabis.

  • Patients

Anyone applying for a marijuana medical card must pay a nonrefundable $100 registration fee. The annual renewal fee is $100. The registration and renewal fee is $50 for veterans or people enrolled in Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income disability programs. Parents must register to serve as primary caregiver for minors submitting applications for therapeutic marijuana use in Illinois. Minors also require written certification from two certifying physicians that he or she suffers from a qualifying medical condition.

Illinois residents who wish to obtain therapeutic cannabis must submit an “Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Application"

  • Caregivers

Any patient who needs assistance with obtaining or administering cannabis can designate a primary caregiver who must also apply. A patient must indicate whether he or she will utilize a primary caregiver at the time of application for a cannabis registry identification card, as well as, select a therapeutic cannabis dispensary. Minor patients must have a primary caregiver. The cost of registering as a primary caregiver is $25 per year.

  • Physicians

Physicians who are interested in making recommendations for marijuana treatment in this state must possess a current and unrestricted state medical license and Controlled Substances License. They must also have a bonafide patient-physician relationship with ongoing responsibility for the assessment, treatment, and care of a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition. An in-person physical examination must be performed within 90 days of application. There is no special training that is required before a physician can recommend marijuana based therapy. Minors require certification by 2 physicians.

  • Qualifying Medical Conditions

In-order-to qualify as a cannabis patient in this state, a resident must suffer from one or more qualifying medical conditions. These conditions and symptoms include agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, causalgia, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Arnold-Chiari malformation, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Crohn’s disease, Complex regional pain syndrome, dystonia, fibrous dysplasia, hepatitis C, hydrocephalus, hydromyelia, interstitial cystitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, myoclonus, nail-patella syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Parkinson’s disease, post-concussion syndrome, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), residual limb pain, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, severe fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s syndrome, spinal cord disease, spinal cord injury with intractable spasticity, spinocerebellar ataxia, syringomyelia, Tarlov cysts, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, terminal illness, and cachexia or severe weight loss. If you need more information about the law or licensing process visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website.