Illinois FAQs

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Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

Below you will find a handy guide to some common questions regarding medical cannabis use in the state of Illinois. As an emerging treatment option, it is important to stay informed and up to date on what is happening, so we always encourage questions.

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 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
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.

Why can’t I go to pharmacy to receive medical cannabis?

Pharmacies can only dispense medications that are prescribed. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it cannot be prescribed by any health professional. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis for patients

Can I grow my own medical cannabis?

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 cannabis may I possess as a registered qualifying patient?

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.

As a registered qualifying patient, is there a way to possess more than 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis in a 14-day period?

A registered qualifying patient may apply for a waiver to possess more than 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis in a 14-day period. The patient’s physician must complete the form included in the Physician Written Certification Form asserting that, based on the patient’s medical history, 2.5 ounces is an insufficient supply for a 14-day period.

What is a designated caregiver?

A designated caregiver is a person who is selected by a qualifying patient as the person authorized, on the qualifying patient’s behalf, to possess, obtain from a certified medical cannabis dispensary, dispense and assist in the administration of medical cannabis. Caregivers must enroll in the program. A designated caregiver is issued a medical cannabis registry identification card that allows him/her to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis on behalf of their patient. It is not legal for caregivers to consume, by any means, medical cannabis that has been dispensed on behalf of a registered qualifying patient.

What happens if I get stopped by law enforcement officers or they come to my house?

It may be appropriate in certain circumstances to inform law enforcement that you are a participant in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and offer to show your registry identification card. However, you should always consult with your own private attorney to discuss the protection of your rights. At this time, marijuana (cannabis) is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal statute. For that reason, participation in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program may not protect participating patients or caregivers from potential criminal liability under federal laws.

Are registry identification cards from other state medical cannabis programs valid in Illinois?

No. Only registry identification cards issued through the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Medical Cannabis are valid in Illinois.

Am I protected under Illinois law if I’m visiting another state and using my medical cannabis?

No. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act only applies in Illinois.

Can I 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.

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