How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Illinois
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MMJ was legalized in Illinois in August 2013, and in May 2019, recreational marijuana was also permitted. While there was a medical marijuana program established in theory, patients faced long-standing issues. The process for state-registered growers and sellers didn’t begin until late 2014, and it typically takes around three years to fully establish everything.

As recently as 2019, there were reports of Illinois patients having to make over 300 calls to the Illinois Department of Public Health to reach the MMJ program. Fortunately, there have been recent improvements, and now more eligible patients than ever are wondering how to obtain a medical marijuana card in Illinois.

This concise guide will provide you with all the necessary information on obtaining an IL medical card. However, let’s first explore the cannabis laws in Illinois.


Illinois Medical Marijuana Laws

In July 2016, cannabis was decriminalized in Illinois. However, it’s important to note that there are still legal consequences for marijuana-related offenses. In Illinois, adults who are residents of the state can purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis, whereas non-residents are limited to buying a maximum of 15 grams.

If an individual is found in possession of more than these specified amounts but less than or equal to 100 grams, it is considered a misdemeanor on the first offense, which could lead to a potential jail term of 12 months. On a second offense, it becomes a felony, carrying a possible prison sentence of three years and a fine of $25,000.

The sale of 2.5 grams or less without a license is classified as a misdemeanor, while selling 10 grams or more is considered a felony. It’s important to note that recreational users are not allowed to grow cannabis, and if found cultivating five plants or fewer for personal use, they can be fined $200. However, growing six or more plants, regardless of whether the individual is a medical marijuana patient, is considered a felony, carrying a maximum prison sentence of three years.


How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois

While the option to purchase recreational cannabis is available in Illinois, eligible medical patients enjoy various advantages and financial incentives. One such benefit is the permission to cultivate marijuana in their own residences, along with higher limits for purchasing and possessing compared to recreational users. Consequently, if you meet the criteria, it is still beneficial to apply for a medical marijuana card in Illinois. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to proceed.


Step 1 – Get in Touch with an IL Healthcare Provider & Schedule a Consultation

Arrange a meeting with a doctor to converse about the usage of cannabis for a specific medical condition that qualifies under the state’s regulations. We have listed these qualifying conditions below. If you cannot prove Illinois residency, it is unnecessary to proceed further.

Throughout the consultation, the physician will inquire about your medical background. If they determine your eligibility, they will fill out a Physician Written Certification Form on your behalf. Afterward, they can send it via mail from their office to the Division of Medical Cannabis within the Illinois Department of Public Health, located at:

Division of Medical Cannabis
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 W. Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761

Another option is for the doctor to attach the form to your online application. The form needs to indicate that you have been diagnosed with one of the eligible medical conditions. Additionally, the physician must provide evidence of an in-person visit to their office within 90 days of the application date. Similar to other states, it is necessary for you to establish a genuine doctor-patient relationship.

In Illinois, there is no designated directory of physicians who support cannabis use. The responsibility falls on you to locate one.


Step 2 – Sign up for an Illinois State Government Account

Once you possess the Physician Written Certification Form, you are eligible to complete the Marijuana Card Application Form.

The Illinois Department of Public Health website provides useful registration tips, including the instruction to register with the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System (ICTS) by selecting the MCPP Patient Registration button.

Afterwards, you will need to enter the necessary personal information in order to register with the ICTS. Only then can you initiate an MCPP application.

On the application, you are required to choose an MMJ dispensary where you plan to purchase cannabis products.

Applicants must also provide the following documents:


A non-refundable application fee.

A recent 2″ x 2″ photograph taken within the last 30 days.

A completed Fingerprint Consent Form along with fresh fingerprints taken within 30 days of application, accompanied by supporting documents such as a color photocopy of an Illinois Driver’s License, Illinois State ID, or the photo page of a U.S. passport as proof of age and identity.


Proof of Illinois residency.

Fingerprint receipt, which requires contacting a fingerprinting vendor in advance to ensure they provide Medical Cannabis fingerprinting services. Additionally, remember to bring the Fingerprint Consent Form to the appointment and include the Transaction Control Number (TCN) on the form.

A Benefit Verification Letter from the Social Security Administration or DD-214, if applicable, for applicants seeking reduced application fees.

The Illinois Department of Public Health no longer accepts paper applications for MMJ cards. If you lack Internet access or face difficulties with the online system, participating local health departments offer free assistance.


Step 3 – Visit a Dispensary

Previously, MMJ patients were obligated to pick only one authorized dispensary, as the program’s regulations stipulated that cannabis could only be obtained from that particular location. Nevertheless, Governor Pritzker altered this regulation by approving HB 1443 on July 15, 2021. This legislation eliminated the requirement to select a single dispensary exclusively.

Despite that, the online application procedure still mandates MMJ patients to choose a dispensary. However, they are now free to purchase cannabis from ANY licensed dispensary in Illinois, not limited to their initial selection. Additionally, it is no longer necessary to switch dispensaries through the online system.

This information emerged subsequent to the announcement by the Illinois Department of Public Health that they were transitioning the MMJ Registry to a new system called Entellitrak. This new system became accessible in June 2021.

It enables patients to access their online accounts at any time and make credit card payments. Furthermore, once approved, MMJ patients have the option to download their registry cards.


Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in IL?

In order to request a medical marijuana card in Illinois, you need to meet certain criteria. Firstly, you must be a resident of the state and be at least 18 years old. Additionally, you must have a qualifying condition. Furthermore, there are certain disqualifications, including having a criminal record for a serious offense such as a felony, possessing a school bus permit or a Commercial Driver’s License, or being currently employed as a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter.


Cost of MMJ Card in IL

The cost of a medical marijuana card in IL varies depending on the desired duration of the registry ID card, which can be one, two, or three years. The state program has recently reduced the original fees by half. Here are the different prices:

– A 1-year ID card costs $50.
– A 2-year ID card costs $100.
– A 3-year ID card costs $125.

Applicants who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for a reduced fee application. In such cases, the fees are as follows:

– A 1-year ID card costs $25.
– A 2-year ID card costs $50.
– A 3-year ID card costs $75.

*[If you are enrolled in SSDI or SSI, you need to include a Benefits Verification Letter from the Social Security Administration with your application. This letter should contain your name, address, and details about the benefits you receive.]

For caregivers, the application fees are as follows:

– A 1-year ID card costs $25.
– A 2-year ID card costs $50.
– A 3-year ID card costs $75.
– If a caregiver applies separately for a patient who is already registered, the fee is $75. The expiration date for both the caregiver and patient card is the same.



IL MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions

There is a wide range of medical conditions that qualify for an IL medical marijuana card, and the list provided is not exhaustive. The complete list can be found on the IDPH website.

Some of the qualifying conditions for an IL medical marijuana card include

Alzheimer’s disease
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Chronic inflammatory
Demyelinating polyneuropathy
Crohn’s disease
CRPS (complex regional pain)

If you don’t have a qualifying condition, you have the option to fill out a Petition to Add Debilitating Condition form.




How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card in Illinois?

Applications for medical marijuana cards in Illinois may take a while to process. After submitting your application, it often takes several weeks until you receive your card. To prevent delays, you must exercise patience and make sure you have submitted all the required paperwork.


Can I use my medical marijuana card from another state in Illinois?

No, Illinois does not recognise cards issued by other states for medical marijuana. A medical marijuana card explicitly provided by the state must be applied for and obtained before using marijuana for medical purposes in Illinois.


Where can I purchase medical marijuana in Illinois?

You can buy medicinal marijuana in Illinois from state-licensed shops once you have your medical marijuana card. Find authorized spots close to you using the list of registered dispensaries on the IDPH website.


Can I grow my own marijuana with a medical marijuana card in Illinois?

No, current Illinois legislation does not permit holders of a medical marijuana card to cultivate their own marijuana plants. Marijuana growing is carefully controlled and is only permitted in state-licensed growth facilities.


Can I be fired from my job for using medical marijuana in Illinois?

In order to fully understand your rights and obligations, it’s vital to consult legal counsel or employee handbooks regarding the specific employment rules that apply to the use of medicinal marijuana. Illinois has legalized medical marijuana; nonetheless, certain businesses may have policies that forbid its use or impairment at work.


Also Read: Top 6 Benefits of Getting A Medical Card In Illinois



You can explore the possible advantages of medicinal cannabis in Illinois and receive relief for your qualifying medical condition if you have a current medical marijuana card.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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