Medical Marijuana

Apply for Your Illinois Medical Marijuana Card

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois Step By Step

Since the state of Illinois passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act in 2013, Illinois individuals diagnosed with qualifying medical illnesses designated by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as treatable with medicinal marijuana have been authorized to purchase cannabis lawfully.

The statute established the state’s Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP), which details the application procedure for a medical card. Due to the various steps involved the process can be puzzling, but the Sanctuary is here to help you navigate it.

Step 1: Register with the MCPP and Identify Your Qualifying Condition

The first step in obtaining a medical marijuana card in Illinois is to create an account and register with the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System(ICTS). Make sure to pick “MCPP Patient Registration” when doing so.

To be eligible for a medical marijuana identification card in Illinois, individuals must be diagnosed with at least one of the state’s debilitating medical conditions.

Those qualifying conditions include:

  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-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 (PKD)
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Spinal cord injury causing damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative coliti
  • 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 (PKD)
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury causing damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less

Even if your condition isn’t on the state’s list, you may still be qualified for a medical card. If you want to try to get your ailment added to Illinois’ list, IDPH has a petition for that.

The next step is to find and complete the MCPP application on the IDPH website. To access the application, click on this link.

Step 2: Meet with a Licensed Physician

A healthcare practitioner certified in the state of Illinois must confirm your qualifying condition before you apply for a registration card.

To begin, make an appointment with your primary care physician or the specialist who is presently caring for you. Because the MCPP does not keep a registry of registered medical marijuana doctors, you should discuss medical cannabis therapy with any doctors you visit on a regular basis. If you want to conduct your consultation virtually, you can make a telemedicine appointment.

After you’ve arranged your appointment, print a blank copy of MCPP’s certification form and bring it with you so your doctor may sign it. If they sign the form, it will be mailed to the MCPP by your healthcare provider.

Step 3: Compile Your Paperwork

You can apply for a medicinal cannabis registry card once you’ve been certified. However, you must first collect the following documents:

  • A signed and completed application form
  • Proof of residency, identity, and the age of qualifying patient (such as with a driver’s license/state ID, bank statement, utility bill, and/or voter ID card)
  • Photo of the qualifying patient
  • Physician-written certification or appropriate documentation for veterans receiving medical care at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility, if applicable (your physician must mail in this form)
  • Designated caregiver application information, if applicable
  • Copy of the fingerprint consent form and the receipt provided by the livescan fingerprint vendor containing the Transaction Control Number (TCN)
  • Excluded offense waiver, if applicable
  • Selection of medical cannabis dispensary or zone
  • Application fee of $50 (if you’re a veteran or a recipient of Social Security Disability Income ((SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income ((SSI)), you may be eligible for a reduced fee)

If you’re mailing your application, it must be sent to this address:

Illinois Department of Public Health 
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 West Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761

Note that the state may request additional medical records to supplement your application materials.

Step 4: Submit Your IDPH Application

After gathering the necessary papers, you must complete your Application for Registry Identification Card for Qualifying Patients on the MCPP’s website. You can find instructions for completing and submitting this application here.

You must establish an account if you do not already have one for the application site.

Step 5: Receive Your Medical Marijuana Card Via Email

You must wait for the state to process and approve your patient application after submitting it. While this processing might take up to 30 days to complete, keep in mind that that number can fluctuate depending on the circumstances of your application.

The MCPP will discontinue distributing traditional plastic cards to new and existing patients on June 22, 2021. Illinois MMJ cards are now accessible for download or printing in Illinois residents’ medicinal cannabis accounts.

You will be allowed to buy marijuana at any licensed Illinois dispensary after you have received your card. Medical marijuana cards in Illinois are good for one, two, or three years, depending on the option you choose during the application process.

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Need Help Obtaining an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card?

If you need assistance applying for your Illinois medical marijuana card, The Sanctuary Wellness Institute is here to help. We link qualified Illinois patients with credentialed physicians who can certify potential medicinal marijuana patients.

Contact us today to find out how we can assist you in obtaining an Illinois medical cannabis card.