The Benefits of Getting a Medical Card in Illinois

Jan, 2023
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In August 2013, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then, the benefits of getting a medical card in Illinois have only become more and more apparent.

Today, recreational cannabis is also legal in the Prairie State, but adult-use consumers simply don't get to enjoy the same comprehensive benefits that medical patients can. So, what are the advantages of getting a medical card in Illinois over just buying rec weed? We'll tell you.

Medical Card in Illinois Trumps Access to Recreational Marijuana

Illinois marijuana laws changed on January 1, 2020, when the state legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Since recreational marijuana is legal, some patients may question the Illinois medical card benefits, which is understandable. If you can walk into a dispensary and buy marijuana, why would you need a medical card in the first place?  

The Benefits of Getting a Medical Card in Illinois  

Recreational marijuana may be legal, but there are exclusive Illinois medical marijuana card benefits. The Illinois medical card benefits include home cultivation, higher possession limit, reciprocity, lower age limit, and more weed for less money.  

Sounds attractive, right? By reading our detailed explanation of these Illinois medical card benefits, you will understand why getting a medical card in Illinois is ideal even though recreational marijuana is legal.   

You Have Access to More Weed and Options  

One of the most significant Illinois medical marijuanas card benefits is the possession limit. According to Illinois marijuana possession laws, you are entitled to more weed if you have a medical card.   

Recreational users can buy only one ounce at a time, but residents with a medical card can buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.

And if you believe you need more marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of your condition, you can apply for a waiver that will allow you to possess more marijuana at home.   

Frequent trips to the dispensary for medical marijuana can be disruptive, but you won’t suffer that inconvenience if you have a medical card.

Thanks to the higher possession limit you enjoy with a medical marijuanas card in Illinois, you can stock up on your favorite products in one trip.   

Also, dispensaries usually have medical-only product menus with enticing products exclusive to any patient with a medical marijuanas card in Illinois.

You can pick your favorite products in categories like flowers, vape, tinctures, edibles, and concentrates.    

You Can Grow Your Own Weed at Home  

While recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, you can only buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Every time you run out of weed, you must make the trip to a dispensary and queue up to get a refill.  

By contrast, state residents with a medical marijuanas card in Illinois can grow up to five plants at home, and home cultivation ensures that patients have a steady supply of marijuana.

Getting A Medical Card In Illinois

It gets better, too: the marijuana you grow at home does not count towards the possession limit.  

Remember, anyone who grows marijuana without first getting a medical card in Illinois will face penalties, including fines and jail time.

Also, note that you must grow your plants in a safe and secure location that is not visible to the public and must not exceed the legal limit.  

If you are interested in growing weed at home, here’s our guide on how to grow marijuana. 

Save Money with a Medical Card in IL  

Another huge benefit of getting a medical card in Illinois is how much money you'll save.

You may consider the costs of getting a medical card in IL and think that you don’t need one since you can buy recreational marijuana without a card. On the contrary! It's actually cheaper to get a card. Let’s do the math together. 

Recreational cannabis is subject to a 6.25% sales tax, but that’s not all. It is also subject to a purchaser tax that depends on the THC content of the marijuana product and a 3.5% municipality tax.

Cannabis with less than 35% THC is subject to a 10% – 24% tax on the purchase price, while cannabis with over 35% THC attracts a 25% tax on the purchase price.

On the other hand, medical marijuana is subject to just 1% sales tax and the 3.5% municipality tax, so when you factor in tax costs, it is evident that getting a medical card for Illinois marijuana will save you money.

For instance, if you want to buy an eighth of cannabis flower priced at $70 and has a THC concentration of more than 35%, recreational consumers will pay $94.33 (3.5% + 6.25% + 25%), but if you have a medical card in Illinois, you will pay only $73.15 (1% +3.5%).

A price difference of $21.18 will burn a hole in your pocket every time you purchase marijuana without a medical card.

Getting your medical card in Illinois may cost money, but it is a worthy investment. The maximum validity period for a medical card in Illinois is three years, that is, three years of exclusive deals, discounts, and unique offerings that are not available to recreational users.  

Medical marijuana patients also save money through dispensary discounts, loyalty programs, and other unique offerings exclusive to people with medical cards in IL.    

Medical Marijuana Patients Come First  

The supply of weed is not infinite, so supplies can run low. However, when there’s a shortage of marijuana, dispensaries will prioritize the needs of those with medical cards.   

Why? Illinois recreational law states that patients who have a medical card in Illinois get priority access to dispensaries ahead of recreational consumers.   

Some dispensaries cater to only medical marijuana patients, so the service is considerably faster compared to recreational dispensaries, where queues are not unusual.

Getting a medical card in Illinois helps you avoid the inconvenience of queues. 

You Don’t Have to Wait Till You Are 21  

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Recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, but you must be at least 21 years old to buy it. This means even if you suffer from a qualifying condition but are not up to 21, you simply cannot buy cannabis or cannabis products.

On the other hand, you can get a medical card if you're under 21 as long as you have a qualifying medical condition. If you're a minor, you have to have a parent or guardian apply on your behalf. But, it's 100% possible and 100% legal.

You Can Use Your Illinois Medical Marijuana Card in Other States  

Some states where medical marijuana is legal allow patients from other states to register as visiting patients and use their home state’s MMJ card to buy medical marijuana.

If you have a medical card for Illinois marijuana, you can purchase medical marijuana in states with reciprocity.      

It is illegal to travel across state lines with marijuana. Still, if you are traveling within a state with reciprocity, you will be able to buy and use medical marijuana.   

What You Need to Get a Medical Card in Illinois   

Now that you know the benefits of getting a medical card in Illinois, the next question you may ask is, “How can I get a medical card in Illinois?”

At Elevate Holistics, marijuana is our specialty, and we can help you get your Illinois MMJ card.  

The first step to getting a medical card in Illinois is to understand the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older. Parents can apply for their children who are younger than 18.
  • You must have a qualifying condition.
  • A qualified marijuana doctor must certify your qualifying condition.
  • You must provide proof of Illinois residency.
  • You must submit a photo that will go on your medical card.
  • You must pay the application fee. The fee schedule is $50 for a one-year card, $100 for a two-year card, and $150 for a three-year card.  

Active-duty law enforcement officers, firefighters, and holders of a Commercial Driver’s License cannot apply for a medical card in Illinois.   

Elevate Holistics: Affordable Medical Card Without the Stress

The Illinois medical marijuanas card benefits offer you more convenience than you can ignore even if you are aged 21 or older.

At Elevate Holistics, we have built a reliable and efficient marijuana service that can take care of all your marijuana needs with satisfactory results. Our doctors are qualified, HIPAA compliant, and ready to assist you in any way so your marijuana journey will be stress-free.  

Currently, there are over 156,000 medical marijuana patients in Illinois, and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of them.

If you are thinking, “do I qualify for a medical card in Illinois?” our doctors will be happy to consult with you and answer that question. Click the link below to get started.   

Reap the benefits of getting a medical card in Illinois — and do it all from home. Click here to get started.

Illinois Patient Resources: