Illinois Medical Marijuana & Marijuana Cards | 2024 Patients Guide

Since IL legalized recreational marijuana in 2019, all state residents 21 and older are authorized to purchase cannabis at recreational dispensaries. Nonetheless, only registered IL medical patients can shop at medical dispensaries, and having your medical card in IL offers a number of perks. This is why medical marijuana remains more popular than ever in Illinois, even years after the adult-use market was legalized.

For potential medical marijuana patients, we makes it easy to connect with a recommending marijuana doctor online to get or renew your Illinois medical card. To get started simply fill out the patient registration form and press submit. See if you qualify today! Legal Residents Only.

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With Rec available, why get an IL Medical Marijuana card?

Access to Medical Dispensaries & Medical Products

Though IL residents over the age of 21 can technically purchase legal cannabis, they can only shop at adult-use dispensaries, not medical dispensaries. This not only limits the number of locations that you can access as an adult-use consumer–it also limits your access to various advantages associated with the specific types of products, shopping environment, and guidance that only medical dispensaries can offer.

Therapeutic Products

Medical dispensaries carry products tailored for medical use and therapeutic purposes, which means that you’ll have access to products with higher concentrations of minor cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN, and other compounds that have specific applications for many qualifying conditions. You also be able to access a wider variety of product formats that may be more suitable for therapeutic use.

Lower Sales Tax

Medical marijuana patients pay a much lower sales tax of just 1% when shopping at dispensaries. This makes having your medical card in IL much more cost-effective, when you consider the taxes that adult-use consumers are forced to pay upfront.

Adult use purchases start with a sales tax of 6.25% plus the state’s Cannabis Purchaser Excise Tax, which varies based on the THC content of the product being purchased. This tax adjusts based on the THC content of the product you’re purchasing: for instance, if you purchase an adult-use product with over 35% THC, you’ll be looking at a hefty 25% Excise tax.

Expert Guidance & Product Recommendations

Medical dispensaries also offer different, more patient-focused shopping environments than recreational dispensaries in IL. IL medical dispensaries are often staffed with pharmacists and trained experts who can provide patient consultations and product recommendations based on your specific condition and wellness needs.

Patient Prioritization

If you hold your medical card, you’ll always be a prioritized patient at Illinois dispensaries. This means that if there is ever a product shortage, dispensaries will consider you first to ensure that you have access to your cannabis treatments. Many hybrid dispensaries also offer express lines for medical patients so you can skip the wait for a quicker, more convenient dispensary experience.

Grow Your Own Cannabis at Home

Moreover, IL medical patients are permitted to grow up to 5 cannabis plants at home, whereas recreational consumers can’t grow cannabis at all. This can make legal cannabis even more cost-effective for IL medical patients looking to eliminate dispensary tax altogether.


These are just a few of the reasons why, despite recreational legalization, medical marijuana remains as popular as ever in IL.

MedCard Faded Medical Symbol

How to Get Your Medical Card in Illinois

In addition to the aforementioned advantages, signing up for your medical card in IL is an easy, simple process. To join the Illinois Medical Marijuana Program, follow these steps:

Step 1. The first step to getting your IL Medical Card is to obtain an online certification from a qualifying physician, confirming that you have a Qualifying Condition permitted for treatment with cannabis. (See Qualifying Conditions listed below)

IL now accepts telehealth appointments for MMJ certification, making the certification process easier than ever. Using this form, you can easily get in touch with IL Dispensaries and set up a telemedicine appointment. Or, to see a full registry of qualifying physicians in IL, click here. 

Step 2. After obtaining your patient certificate, you must fill out the patient portion of the IL Medical Marijuana Application, and pay the designated registration fee–which ranges from $25-300, depending on varying circumstances–to the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System. Be sure to have the following documents and information on hand when filling out your Medical Marijuana application: 

  • Completed healthcare professional certification from Step 1. 
  • Passport Style Photo 
  • Copy of valid photo ID demonstrating IL residency or a copy of your US Passport with your current IL address. 
    • For Passports: If your current address is different from the address listed on your passport, you must provide additional proof of residency with a utility bill, bank statement, or voter ID card. See a list of acceptable documents here
  • Credit or debit card to pay online application fee. 

Step 3: Once your application is submitted, you will receive a provisional registration letter that you can print and use at medical dispensaries for up to 90 days after receipt, or until you receive a decision on your application.

Step 4. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a digital copy of your IL Medical Card, which you can print to use at any IL dispensary.. 

Step 5. Find your dispensary to start shopping today! Click here for a list of dispensaries in Illinois, and use our searchable map to find a location close to you.

Qualifying Conditions

Under the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, the qualifying conditions permitted for medical card access include the following:

Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP)

In addition to the qualifying conditions listed above, Illinois residents aged 21 and older who have been–or could be–prescribed opioids for a medical condition are also eligible to register for their medical card. To learn more about the OAPP, click here.


In addition, veterans being treated by the VA are eligible to qualify for a medical card by submitting treatment records of the past 12 months using the online IL Medical marijuana patient registry system.

Qualifying Minors

With physician and caregiver permission, minors under the age of 18 with a qualifying condition may also be eligible to receive their medical card in IL. The process is similar to the process for residents aged 18 and up, in addition to the requirement that a caregiver submit an application alongside your physician. Minors are not permitted to purchase smokeable products, but can still opt for various cannabis-infused products available at medical dispensaries. When visiting dispensaries, minors under 18 must always be accompanied by a guardian.

To learn more about registration for qualifying minors, click here.

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