Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Legislation and FAQs
Illinois technically legalized medical marijuana with the Marijuana Control Act of 1978, but never established regulations regarding medical marijuana.
By 2013, Illinois passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act. This bill legalized the sale, cultivation, and use of medical marijuana in the state, placing the Department of Public Health, Agriculture and Financial and Professional Regulation with creating the rules to implement the program.
Beginning in 2015 medical marijuana dispensaries had expanded the medical marijuana program to include more qualifying conditions, more patients, and allowed people with opioid prescriptions to qualify for medical marijuana use in Illinois, while making the Medical Marijuana Pilot Program permanent.
In 2016, Illinois decriminalized marijuana possession, and those possessing 10 grams or less would face fines from $100 to $200 without any jail time.
In 2019, the Illinois Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act was signed by Gob. JB Pritzker. This new act legalized marijuana for adult-use. This legalization led to the expungement of hundreds of thousands of criminal records of marijuana possession of less than 30 grams.
Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Cultivation & Possession Laws
Illinois medical marijuana patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or marijuana products during a 14-day period. Patients can also ask their doctor for a recommendation to possess more than 2.5ounces if necessary. Illinois medical marijuana card holders can also transport marijuana inside secure sealed containers that are inaccessible to passengers or the driver. Patients cannot transfer or give away medical marijuana. Caregivers may purchase or possess medical marijuana for their patients only. Adults may give away marijuana to anyone over the age of 21 without an exchange of currency or payment. For adults 21 or over, Illinois residents may possess 30 grams of flower and no more than 500 milligrams of THC-infused products, or 5 grams of marijuana concentrates. For out-of-state visitors to Illinois aged 21 or over, they may possess 15 grams of marijuana, and no more than 250 milligrams of THC-infused products, or 2.5 grams of marijuana concentrates.
While Illinois allows adult-use marijuana, only registered Illinois medical marijuana patients and caregivers can cultivate marijuana. Illinois specifies that the cultivation area of medical marijuana in Illinois must be in an enclosed, locked area containing no more than 5 plants more than 5inches tall. The cultivation site must be on a residential property owned by the cultivator or with the owner’s consent, and the cultivation site must not be visible to the public.
Online Medical Marijuana Card and Renewal FAQ
What are the qualifying medical conditions to receive an Illinois medical marijuana card?
Qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition, as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois.
Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
Irritable bowel syndrome
Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Residual limb pain
Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
Traumatic brain injury
Can other medical conditions be added to the list?
Illinois residents may petition the Illinois Department of Public Health to add medical conditions to the list of
debilitating medical conditions included in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The
Department is developing a process for considering the petitions, including establishing an advisory board and
holding public hearings. At this point petitions are not being accepted. Check the Department’s website for
I have one of the debilitating medical conditions, am I automatically a qualified patient?
No. The qualifying patient must submit an application to the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of
Medical Cannabis with the required forms to become a registered qualifying patient.
What are the fees associated with the Medical Cannabis Program?
Annual qualifying patient application fee is $100
• Annual qualifying patient reduced application fee is $50
– For qualifying patients enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) disability programs, submit a copy of a letter or other documentation
form to the Social Security Administration identifying the qualifying patient and showing the amount of monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits to be received by the
qualifying patient during the current year of application.
– Veterans must provide a copy of their DD214.
• Annual caregiver application fee is $25
• Replacement card fee is $25
• Returned check fee is $35
Is there a way to expedite my application?
No. Applications are generally processed in the order in which they are received.
How long is my enrollment in the Medical Cannabis Program valid?
If approved, your registry identification card from the Illinois Department of Public Health will be valid for one year from the date it is issued. You must reapply to the program at least 45 days before the expiration date of your existing registry identification card.
How do I renew my registry identification card?
Renewing a registry identification card requires the same application process as when you originally applied. This must be done at least 45 days prior to the expiration of your existing registry identification card. The qualifying patient and designated caregiver, if one is indicated, must apply for renewal of his or her registry identification card.
I sent in my renewal application, but haven’t received my registry identification card yet. Why?
If you’ve submitted your renewal application as required, your new registry identification card will be mailed out approximately one week before your current card expires. If you submitted your renewal application after the required deadline, the renewal will be processed and the new registry identification card will be sent as soon as possible.
Can I grow my own medical marijuana in Illinois?
No. Qualifying registered patients and their designated caregivers cannot grow or cultivate medical cannabis. Medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products must be purchased through the medical cannabis dispensary designated by the registered qualifying patient.
How much medical marijuana may I possess as a registered medical marijuana patient in Illinois?
Registered qualifying patients and designated caregivers may possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis in a 14-day period from the dispensary the qualifying patient identified on their application.
Can I consume/use medical cannabis anywhere in Illinois?
No. Using medical cannabis is prohibited in a school bus, on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school, in any correctional facility, in any motor vehicle, in a private residence used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises and in any public place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others. A public place includes all parts of buildings owned in a whole or in part, or leased, by the state or local unit of government. A public place does not include a private residence unless the private residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care or other similar social service care on the premises. Using medical cannabis is also prohibited in a health care facility or any other place where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke-free Illinois Act and knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 18.
How long does it take to get my Illinois medical marijuana card?
After you schedule an appointment with an MMJ.com Illinois medical marijuana doctor online, the appointment will take roughly 5-15 minutes. You are able to complete the appointment over the telephone or by webcam. The choice is yours! Once you receive the IL medical marijuana doctor’s approval, you will complete the Illinois medical marijuana card registration with the IDPH.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has 30 business days to review complete applications from the date the Department receives them. The Department has 15 days after an application is approved to issue a registry identification card.
How to renew Illinois medical marijuana card?
It is simple! First, visit MMJ.com and schedule your appointment with a certified Illinois medical marijuana doctor online.
The appointment will take around 5-15 minutes to complete. After the IL MMJ doctor approves you for an IL medical marijuana card online, you will be directed to the IDPH where you will submit payment directly to the state of Illinois to receive your Illinois medical marijuana card renewal.