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How to Get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card

Step-by-Step Guide to Join the Illinois Medical Marijuana Program

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.

Learn more about the Illinois medical marijuana program with our guide.

Illinois Medical Marijuana Qualifications

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

Step 1: Get Your Medical Marijuana 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.

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

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

*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.

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 Illinois Medical Marijuana 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 Illinois 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.

Have questions? We’ve got answers

No matter your level of comfort or knowledge with medical marijuana, we can help answer your questions. Our friendly cannabis sales consultants are happy to talk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I find a healthcare practitioner to recommend medical marijuana in Illinois?

Any medical practitioner in Illinois can certify that a patient has a qualifying medical condition from the list of approved conditions. 

How much does a medical marijuana card cost in Illinois? 

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.

How do I register as a medical marijuana caregiver in Illinois?

A caregiver application can be submitted through the patient’s online portal. Visit our Medical Marijuana in Illinois page for information about how to register as a patient caregiver.

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

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.

How much medical marijuana can I purchase in Illinois?

Medical marijuana patients in Illinois can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis within a 14-day period. However, a healthcare practitioner can submit a waiver to have the allotment increased.

Can I visit multiple dispensaries in one day?

There is no limit in Illinois to the number of dispensaries you can visit per day. However, dispensaries will have a record of how much medical marijuana a patient has purchased that day, and they will not dispense more than the state-allowed amount. 

How do I renew my Illinois medical marijuana card?

Illinois medical marijuana cards have two renewal options:

  • If you did not purchase a three-year card, you can get an extension renewal for the duration of the three-year period. You will need to pay the fee, but no additional healthcare certification is required.
  • If you have had your card for three years or if your medical card has expired, you will need to obtain a full healthcare recertification and pay the associated fees.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will send courtesy emails about extension and full recertification renewals.