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How to Get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card

Medical Cannabis in Illinois

Illinois became a recreational cannabis state in 2020, but there are still many benefits to joining the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP). If you’re interested in obtaining a medical marijuana card, Verilife is here to guide you through the process. Every state has its own program and set of regulations, so make sure to follow our Illinois-specific guide below.

Interested in learning the difference between medical vs recreational cannabis? Read our guide.

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Getting Started

Before you begin the medical marijuana application process in Illinois, make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old OR a minor with an adult caregiver
  • A legal resident of Illinois
  • A certified diagnosis from Illinois Department of Public Health’s list of debilitating conditions by a healthcare professional

See what conditions qualify for a medical marijuana card in Illinois.

Qualifying Conditions

Step 1: Get Your Patient Certificate

The first step in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program is to obtain an online certification of your qualifying condition from your healthcare professional. Any medical practitioner in Illinois can certify that a patient has a qualifying medical condition from the list of approved conditions. However, you must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship.

Not sure how to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana? Here are a few tips for getting the conversation started.

Step 2: Complete Your Medical Marijuana Application

Once you have been certified by your healthcare professional, you will need to complete the patient portion of the application and pay the appropriate fees through the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System. Make sure to have the following items available:

Completed healthcare professional certification A passport-style photo taken within the last 30 days by a smartphone or a professional photographer A color copy of a current driver's license, state ID, or photo page of a US passport* Credit card to pay the online application fee

*If your current address does not match the address on your identity document, you will need to provide proof of residency. This can be a utility bill, a bank statement, or a voter ID card. Click here for a list of acceptable documents.

Registration fees range from $25 - $300, depending on the length of the term and the number of designated caregivers assigned to a patient.

Interested in becoming a patient caregiver. View our guide here.

Step 3: Print Your Provisional Letter

Once your application is submitted, you’ll receive a provisional registration letter to print and use to purchase medical cannabis at a state-licensed dispensary. This letter is valid for up to 90 days or until your application is either approved or denied.

Step 4: Print Your Card

Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive a digital copy of your card to print. Please note, Illinois no longer issues physical medical cannabis cards.

Step 5: Your First Dispensary Visit

You are eligible to visit a state-licensed dispensary in Illinois as soon as you have your provisional letter. There are a few things to know before making your first visit, so read our guide to make your experience as stress-free as possible. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Cannabis Patient Program application fees in Illinois range from $25 - $300, depending on the length of the term and the number of registered caregivers. Visit the MCPP Registry Card Fees page for more information.

The process varies from patient to patient. It typically takes the Illinois Department of Public Health up to 30 days to review an application. Once your application is approved, you will receive a digital medical marijuana card to print and use. Illinois no longer provides physical cards.

As of July 2021, Illinois no longer requires medical marijuana patients to register with one dispensary. You can use your card at any location in the state that offers a medical cannabis program.

As of August 2018, you no longer need to submit fingerprints or a background check to the Illinois Department of Public Health to receive approval for a medical cannabis card.

Medical marijuana cards are valid for one, two, or three years in Illinois, depending on the term you selected during the application process.

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Every patient deserves the best possible care. Find out more about additional types of applications for medical marijuana use, including children, veterans, and those with terminal conditions.

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Learn more about the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.

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Live your best life. See what’s needed to obtain your medical cannabis card as a veteran.


Have questions?

No matter your level of comfort or knowledge of medical or recreational cannabis, we can help answer your questions. Our friendly Cannabis Sales Consultants are happy to talk over the phone, or in-person at any Verilife Illinois Marijuana Dispensary.

Our hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST. 


This website contains cannabis information and is restricted to individuals 21 years of age or older. Please confirm your age:

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