Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program is far stricter than in many other states. Patients and primary caregivers cannot cultivate their own cannabis, and a maximum of 2.5 ounces (70g) of usable cannabis can be bought from a intrastate source (i.e. a dispensary) over a period of 14 days.
The divide between medical and non-medical marijuana users in Illinois is stark. Recreational use and possession can lead to a civil infraction and fine of up to $200 for amounts of 10g, and higher fines and/or prison for larger amounts. For anyone looking to come to California who’s in need of a Medical Marijuana Card, book an appointment and have a chat with Dr. Frank, online or in-person. If your state offers telehealth, Dr. Frank may be able to consult with your primary doctor or surgeon as well.
Here’s how to get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois:
1. Have a Qualifying Condition?
If you’re 18 years old or older, and you have a qualifying condition, you can apply for a Medical Marijuana Card. For all the restrictions in other areas surrounding marijuana in Illinois, there are other things the state is a bit more liberal on. Namely, the number of conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended for, including:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy (MD)
- Severe ME/fibromyalgia
- Spinal cord disease/injury
- Tarlov cysts
- Hydromyelia syringomyelia
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Severe brain damage/injury/post-concussion syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Arnold-Chiari malformation and syringomyelia
- Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Complex regional pain syndrome types I and II (CRPS-I/CRPS-II)
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Interstitial cystitis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Residual limb pain
- Seizures relating to conditions such as epilepsy
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Terminal patients with 6 months to live
2. Get Your Physician’s Statement
Once your condition has been confirmed, your physician can sign a written statement recommending medical marijuana use for you. This is often called a “Physician’s Statement” or “Referral”, and is one of the most important documents with regard to your ability to enter dispensaries and avoid falling foul of the law.
3. Apply, Apply, Apply!
Fill in your application form. Attach the following documents to your application:
- Valid photographic ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport, state-approved and issued ID)
- Proof of residence
- A cheque or standing order for the application fee – $100 for new patients and renewals, or $50 for veterans or those enrolled on the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs
- Completed application forms must be sent to:
Illinois Department of Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
4. Await Your Card
Your application and card will be processed and issued within 30 days of your application being received. Card information will include your name, photograph, unique identification number, date of birth, issue date and expiry date.
5. Start Using Your Card
Once you have your card, you can start using it to enter and buy from Illinois dispensaries. Keep your Physician’s Statement safe (and ideally laminated), too, as this is often important to enter dispensaries.
Medical marijuana can’t be grown for personal use in Illinois. However, a reasonable amount of 2.5 oz can be bought from a dispensary every 15 days.