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Talking to Your Doctor About Illinois Medical Marijuana

What you need to know before talking to your physician.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has expressed its commitment to the effective implementation of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

When talking to your physician, consider the following points:

  • Bring any available medical records you may have
  • Explain what you hope to gain from the use of medical cannabis
    • For example, do you want to restore appetite? 
    • Are you seeking to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting 
or other symptoms caused by your medical condition or the medications used to treat your medical condition?

  • Let your doctor know that you are aware of some
 of the side effects that may occur, such as dry mouth, dry or red eyes, headache, dizziness, drowsiness or anxiety
  • Be prepared to discuss with your doctor the benefits of medical cannabis versus the risks

  • Use professional language, such as “medical cannabis.” Refrain from 
using slang terms such as “pot” or “weed”

Remind your doctor that he/she is not writing
 a prescription, but instead giving a written certification
  • This is a document dated and signed by a physician stating that there is a bona fide physician-patient relationship

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What are the next steps?

Learn more about the medical cannabis application process and get started.


What Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis Use?

Qualifying conditions vary state by state. See what qualifies in Illinois.



Describe specifically to your doctor:

• Any symptoms

• Any diagnosed conditions

• What you are currently doing to treat your
 condition or symptoms

• How often you are medicating

• In what form you are medicating 

Ask your doctor if your use of the following medications should be adjusted with the use of medical cannabis:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelets

  • Aspirin
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Dronabinol
  • Narcotics
  • Phenobarbital
  • Sedating anticholinergics

  • Sedative hypnotics
  • SSRI
  • TCA
  • Theophylline


The Physician-Patient Relationship

Physicians are not “prescribing” medical cannabis. Instead, a physician is asked to certify that his or her patient has one of the qualifying medical conditions or symptoms of a qualifying condition and that a bona fide relationship has been established.

For more information visit 

This information is not a referral by a physician to a specific dispensary. This information is being provided by the dispensary for the education and support of the qualifying patient or designated caregiver. The choice of dispensary is the patient's alone. A dispensary may not accept referral of patients from a physician. Neither may a physician refer a qualifying patient to a dispensary.

Physicians should have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient.
A physician should be able to comfortably certify that the qualifying patient is under the physician’s care, either as the patient’s primary care physician or for his or her debilitating medical condition. See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 946.10. 

Physicians may accept payment from a qualifying patient for the fee associated with the examination required before recommending medical cannabis.
However, physicians may not accept any remuneration for making a medical cannabis certification, nor can they accept any remuneration from any dispensary for such a recommendation. See 410 ILCS 130/35.

Physicians are entitled to a “safe harbor” under Illinois state law.
The Medical Disciplinary Board may not discipline physicians for making a proper certification for medical cannabis to qualifying patients. See 410 ILCS 130/25(e).

Unlike other pharmaceuticals, physicians cannot “overprescribe” medical cannabis.
Physicians are not required to regulate dosage, strain or administration of medical cannabis. Under the law, qualifying patients are unable to procure unlimited amounts of medical cannabis.


Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers

No matter your level of comfort or knowledge of medical cannabis, we can help answer your questions. Our friendly patient care representatives are happy to talk - either over the phone, or in-person at Verilife's Chicagoland Marijuana Dispensaries.

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



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

  • IL
  • MD
  • MA
  • NY
  • OH
  • PA

Did you know that most medical marijuana information is state-specific? We have dispensaries in each of the above states, along with state-specific resources for patients. For the best experience, please select a state.