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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois?

Is Cannabis Legal In Illinois?

Illinois legalized medical marijuana as early as 2014 and since then, has simplified the process for MMJ patients to apply for a medical marijuana card in Illinois.

The process is pretty simple:

  • Consult a medical marijuana doctor to get your patient certificate
  • Complete your application with the Medical Cannabis Patient Program
  • Receive your MMJ Card Illinois after your application gets approved

Let’s discuss the process in some detail.

Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois Online

While multiple clinics still provide in-clinic consultations, the post-covid era has led to complete digital transformations for many medical professionals. You can now apply for an MMJ patient certificate from the comfort of your home.

Step 1: Register Online 

Start the process by finding a legitimate medical marijuana doctor or a pro-cannabis clinic that can provide you with a certification. Register online on their platform by filling in some basic details. These details might pertain to your personal information and medical history.

Step 2: Get Your Patient Certificate

After registration, you’ll be connected with an MMJ doctor for a virtual evaluation. This consultation can be over the phone or via video call. The doctor will evaluate your medical condition and decide if you qualify for a certificate. If you qualify, you’ll receive a digital copy (PDF) of your patient certificate via email.

Step 3: Apply With Medical Cannabis Patient Program

Once you have your healthcare certificate, visit the official Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website and complete your application.

Follow these instructions:

  • Register to the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System (ICST) and choose MCPP Patient Registration.
  • Fill in some basic information and Register. You’ll receive a temporary password over email and be required to change it with a first log-in.
  • You can now click on New MCPP Patient Registration and then choose the application type. (Applying for self or as a caregiver.) This process is valid for self-registering patients. Applicants with caregivers can find instructions for registration here.
  • You’ll be required to answer some questions, and upload a few documents (state IDs (driver’s license, passport, etc), and pictures. In the Fees section, you can also apply for a Reduced Patient Fee. “The reduced fee is for qualifying patients enrolled in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Disability, Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System Disability, Illinois State Universities Retirement System Disability or a Veteran.
  • You’ll finally be required to upload the doctor’s patient certificate. This document remains valid for 90 days since the date of issuance.
  • Now you’re all set to make a payment. Select +New to submit your payment and finally pay. The fee can range from $25 to $350, depending on the type of application.

Step 4: Print Your Provisional Letter

After submission, you’ll receive a temporary provisional registration letter that you can print and use to purchase medical marijuana from licensed local dispensaries. This letter has a validity of 90 days, within which your application will either get approved or denied.

Step 5: Print Your Card

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a digital copy of it to be printed. You can use this to purchase medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries without fear of repercussions.

Do You Qualify for an Online Medical Card in Illinois?

Not everybody can get access to medical marijuana in Illinois. To begin with, you must be diagnosed with one of the 50 state-approved medical conditions. These include:

  • ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • An alternative to opioid treatment
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Autism
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehler-Danlos Syndrome
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury

Apart from these, there are some other conditions that a patient must fulfill:

  1. The patient can apply for an MMJ certificate if they are 18 years old or older.
  2. In the case of minors, there should be an adult caregiver and the patient should get a certificate from two physicians.
  3. The patient must be a resident of Illinois and should be capable of producing proof of the same.
  4. The patient should not have a commercial driver’s license or bus permit.
  5. The patient should not be a firefighter, a correctional officer, an active duty law enforcement officer, or a correctional probation officer.

Once a qualifying patient applies for a medical marijuana card in Illinois and receives the card via email, they can easily access potent cannabis from local dispensaries.

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