How To Get A Medical Card In Illinois

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Illinois

IL medical marijuana cards, or medcards are state issued ID cards that grand qualified patients access to medical cannabis. How to get a medical card in Illinois state is a fairly straight forward process. As long as you qualify for the program there’s no reason you can’t get your very own IL medical marijuana card online.


Granted, recreational cannabis is available for all adults, so what’s the  main benefit? TAXES. Getting a Illinois medical card comes with a much lower price for CBD and THC products. In order to save you money in the long run, let’s go over the major points to getting an Illinois medical card. Having one of the medical conditions which qualifies.

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Illinois Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

Medcard Certifications

Sign Up for Medical Cannabis in Your State

For potential medical marijuana patients we a make it easy to connect with a recommending doctor near you or a MedCard doctor online. You will also receive updates & news relative to medical marijuana in general.

 

If you are interested please fill out the MMJ patient registration form to get the certification process started. See if you qualify today!

 

MedCard Registration Form

About Medical Marijuana in Illinois

IL MMJ patients must obtain a written recommendation from their doctor confirming that they suffer from at least one of the qualifying debilitating conditions listed below. Veterans can include 12 months of VA medical records in the place of a physician’s written recommendation.

Once you have been examined by a certified physician and deemed eligible for the program you’ll need to complete the medical cannabis application form. This form requires patients to choose which dispensary they will be using to purchase their medicine, however patients can change their dispensary at any time.

An application fee must accompany your application. Fees are $100 for a card good for one year, or $200 for two years, or $250 for three years. For veterans and patients with disabilities applications fees are halved.

In order to get your Illinois medical marijuana card, you’ll need to supply a passport-sized photo taken in front of a plain, white backdrop. If you do not have the means to print a proper photo some drug store chains such as Walmart offer walk-in passport photo service. 

You’ll also have to provide two pieces of evidence of residency in the state. These can include utility bills, bank statements, state IDs, driver’s licenses and voter ID cards.

As of August 2018, patients with a prescription for opioids can apply for the medical marijuana program online with a doctor’s written certification. These patients will receive a temporary card, which they can present to a dispensary to buy medical cannabis while their applications are being processed.

Caregivers must also meet a set of qualifications and carry a medical cannabis registry card. In order to be a designated caregiver, you must be 21 or older and have no felony convictions. All caregivers are subject to a background check. Caregivers are allowed to serve only one patient at a time and are not allowed to charge for their services.

The Illinois Department of Public Health works with certified local health departments (LHD) to provide free assistance with completing applications for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program. 

A brief history of Illinois marijuana laws

As state cannabis laws go, Illinois’ medical marijuana program has a fairly unique story. From being banned in 1931 to now being legal marijuana for all adults, the story spans more than eight decades. 

One of the more interesting facts that most people don’t know about medical marijuana in Illinois is that the state was a very early adopter with lawmakers having technically legalized the drug for medicinal use way, way back in 1978. 

However, due to the exceedingly tedious and unfortunate dragging of feet by health and law enforcement officials, the time and effort that went into making that law happen were completely wasted and thousands of residents who might have benefited from it suffered instead. 

Four decades later, Illinois is now one of more than 30 U.S. states with a regulated medical cannabis market. Today, Illinois operates a thriving medical marijuana program that benefits more than 60,000 thousand patients statewide. 

Let’s delve into the history and details of the Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program as well as its Opioid Alternative Pilot Program and future legalization for all adults.

In the early part of the 20th Century, the United States began its fall into a state of “Reefer Madness” and Illinois lawmakers were right there with the prohibitionists. In 1931, Illinois officially declared all forms of cannabis illegal in the state. 

Nearly half a century later, In 1978, Illinois become one of the very first states to endorse the use of marijuana in medicine when lawmakers passed a little-known bill called the Cannabis Control Act. Although the law paved the way for a statewide medical marijuana program its implementation depended on two state agencies to do their part in drafting rules for the program. Sadly, neither the Illinois Department of Human Services nor the State Police took any action to make the program a reality.

It would be another quarter century before Illinoisans would be able to benefit from the medicinal properties of Cannabis sativa which had been utilized by humans for millennia before U.S. prohibition. 

In 2013, Illinois lawmakers drafted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, officially legalizing the use of medical cannabis, albeit under tightly controlled circumstances.

Then Governor Patrick Quinn signed the bill into law and the program officially took effect in January of 2014 when applications for patients, growers, and vendors became available. 

In June 2016, a judge ordered the state to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions after the governor vetoed a bill that would have done so. Proposals to add osteoarthritis, migraine, and other ailments to the list of qualifying conditions were also vetoed. 

Then in July of 2016, Illinois decriminalized marijuana making possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana punishable by a $100–200 fine. At the same time, lawmakers set a limit of 5 nanograms/ml of THC in the blood for drivers — including medical patients. 

Illinois’ medical cannabis program was expanded upon in 2018. With a series of new bills, medical marijuana qualifying conditions were expanded. Also, in an attempt to stem the tide of opioid addiction and overdose in the state, cannabis was approved as an opioid alternative. The application process was also made less daunting when fingerprinting and criminal background checks were eliminated. 

Current estimates suggest that the program could see more than 365,000 new patients as a result of the expansion. 

Stepping back a year, in March of 2017, some Illinois lawmakers advanced a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. That effort failed. However, a renewed effort spearheaded by billionaire Gov. J.B. Pritzker is looking like it has potential to pass in 2019. 

The proposal which was recently unveiled is being hailed as one of the more progressive in the nation. If passed, although the law would not replace the medical marijuana program, residents would no longer need a recommendation from a doctor to purchase and consume cannabis. 

Over $200 million worth of medical marijuana products had been sold in Illinois. This includes smokable forms of the drug such as dried flower and concentrates, as well as infused edibles, tinctures, beverages, vape oils, and skin creams. Licensed growers in the state have sold over $111 million worth of wholesale cannabis $40 million of which was sold in the first 8 months of 2018.

Although the program was recently expanded and simplified, statewide sales have been far lower than in many other states with legal medical marijuana. However with new rules in place those numbers are expected to rise dramatically. 

Pritzker estimates that legal marijuana could bring in tax revenue of between $350 million and $700 million per year. Pritzker’s proposal also commutes the sentences of thousands of residents who have been incarcerated for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Illinois MedCard Q&A
Other Important Information about Illinois Marijuana Cards

How Much Does an Illinois  Medical Card Cost To Get From The State?

Qualifying patients and caregivers may apply for a one-, two-, or three-year registry identification card. Persons who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and veterans may be eligible for a reduced application fee.

  • $100 – One-Year Registry Card

  • $200 – Two-Year Registry Card

  • $250 – Three-Year Registry Card

Reduced Application Fee

  • $50 – One-Year Registry Card

  • $100 – Two-Year Registry Card

  • $125 – Three-Year Registry Card

How much does a Recommending Marijuana Doctor in Illinois Cost?

The Average Cost to visit a Certified Ordering Doctor is $299 – $399 for the initial visit and $149 – $200 for the follow up visit.

Can doctors prescribe medical marijuana?

Doctors are actually not permitted to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. However, if they are registered by the state, a doctor can recommend medical marijuana and approve their patients for access to the drug.

When I get my IL MMJ card, can I grow my own marijuana?

No.

Where can I find a marijuana doctor near me in IL?

Check out our marijuana doctors map to see if any are listed near you, Or Get Started Now Here

Where to buy medical marijuana in Illinois?

Medical medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries are located throughout the state of Illinois, especially in the large metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, and Springfield.

What About CBD Oil? Do You Really Need The THC?

CBD oil, a product not derived from marijuana but rather from hemp, has been growing increasingly popular in recent years. Moreover, it can be purchased by all residents.

“Hemp” is a term denoting strains of cannabis that are effectively THC-free (less than 0.3% THC). CBD oil does not cause a high and can be purchased outside of the state’s medical marijuana program. Marijuana laws do not apply to CBD oil in Illinois.

CBD itself falls in the same family of compounds as THC, which are known as cannabinoids. There are 80 or so cannabinoids produced in cannabis, THC and CBD being by far the most abundant. Cannabinoids have profound effects on a system in the human body known as the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for making adjustments to the body to maintain a balanced state of health.

While THC binds with receptors in the brain resulting in the high experienced by marijuana users, CBD does not and is therefore non-intoxicating.

Many CBD oil users report substantial relief from their symptoms without the THC. This includes patients of dozens of conditions including epilepsy, digestive disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, chronic pain including fibromyalgia, and much more.

So, do you really need the THC? Unless you’re specifically looking for effects attributed to THC, you might want to give CBD oil a try first. There are other reasons for this aside from avoiding intoxicating effects such as not showing up in a drug test, not risking a DWI conviction, not requiring a relationship with a doctor, and being easier to purchase.

Illinois Marijuana FAQ's

Frequently asked questions we receive regarding IL cannabis.

Can I Smoke Weed in Illinois Once Qualified?

Yes. Marijuana for medical or recreational use in IL can be smoked in plant form or CBD & THC oils can be vaped.

Can I Take My Medical Marijuana to a Different State?

No. According to current laws patients who obtain a medical card should use medical marijuana in Illinois only. Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they cross state lines with the drug. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana. Should you need to travel with your marijuana it would be best to contact the state’s Bureau of health to understand the exact laws of the state you are traveling to in order to not risk breaking the law.

Is Recreational Weed Legal?

Yes – You can find recreational adult use dispensaries here.

I see CBD Oils for sale on commercials, online, and at stores around town, is this CBD Oil legal in Illinois?

Hemp derived CBD oil is legal.

Will CBD Oil, hemp, or cannabidiol get me high?

No. CBD is a product that has no THC if derived from hemp and very little if derived from cannabis. THC is the chemical compound that creates the “high”. CBD products are available for patients that have a need for non-euphoric treatment.

Is CBD for Pets really a thing?

Yes, CBD for Dogs, CBD for Cats, and CBD for pets in general is becoming a popular treatment for caring for pets that have arthritis, chronic pain and other ailments. The efficacy and safety of CBD for dogs, cats, and other pets have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA only evaluates foods and drugs, not supplements like these products.

Where can I get CBD for pets?

You can find CBD for pets at pet stores, retail and at holistic shops.

Are THC Infused edibles allowed in Illinois?

Yes, marijuana edibles infused with THC are allowed.

What marijuana products are legally available in Illinois?

Medical marijuana products available:

  • Flower
  • Vapes
  • Tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Topicals
  • Edibles
  • Gummies
  • Concentrates
  • Extracts
  • Wax
  • Crumble

How much legal weed can I have in IL with a card?

30 grams of flower, 5 grams of concentrate, or 500mg of THC infused edibles.

Can I use Medical Marijuana Anywhere?

Similar to all states Illinois medical cannabis card holders have to be responsible. It is important to remember that when smoking in public, it may be assumed that you are using it for recreational use, which is illegal on a Federal Level. Illinois medical marijuana card holders are advised to consume their medicine responsibly, in the safety of their home or in a private residence.

How Much Is Medical Marijuana in Illinois?

The price range for medical cannabis in IL is around $60 per eighth and $300 per ounce.

How Much Should I consume?

You should always consult with an Illinois marijuana doctor before using and that doctor will set the course of treatment.

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