Illinois Marijuana Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Marijuana FAQ

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  • Can I grow marijuana in Illinois?

    Only patients who are 21 years or older and hold a valid Illinois medical marijuana card can grow marijuana at home. You can grow up to 5 cannabis plants in your home. They must be in a locked room, with no access to anyone under 21 and not visible to the public.

    If you don’t legally own the property you live in, you will have to obtain permission from the owner before you can start growing cannabis. Also, you can’t grow cannabis in federally-subsidized houses.

  • How many plants can a caregiver grow in Illinois?

    Only qualified patients are permitted to grow marijuana at home in Illinois.

  • How much marijuana can I buy in Illinois?

    Qualifying patients who possess an Illinois medical marijuana card can buy up to 2.5 ounces, or 71 grams, of cannabis within a 14-day period. If your medical condition requires more, you can obtain a waiver through the state.

    You can only buy medical marijuana from a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.

  • Is marijuana legal in Illinois for recreational use?

    Under the  Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act signed into law in June 2019 and enacted in January 2020, marijuana is legal for recreational use. The law allows Illinois residents age 21 and over to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana flower and up to five grams of marijuana concentrate (such as hashish or tincture). Illinois visitors can possess half those amounts.

  • Does Illinois accept out-of-state medical cards?

    No, Illinois does not have reciprocity laws and does not accept MMJ cards from out of state.

  • What happens once I apply?

    Once you complete your application for your medical marijuana card, the process moves fairly quickly. If you are approved, you should receive your temporary card in less than 24 hours.

  • How do I renew my Illinois medical card?

    Renewing your medical card in Illinois is fairly easy. The Illinois Department of Public Health will mail you a letter shortly before your medical card is due to expire. Once you’ve received the letter, you can apply for the renewal online through the patient portal. The fee is $100 for a one-year renewal.

  • Is my medical marijuana card valid in other states?

    There are a few other states that will accept a medical marijuana card from Illinois. These are ArkansasHawaiiMaineNevadaNew HampshireNew MexicoOklahomaRhode IslandUtah, and Washington DC. There are many other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purchases and will allow you to buy it while you are visiting. Illinois does not currently accept medical cards from other states, but does allow non-residents to purchase small amounts of cannabis.

  • How does the online evaluation process work?

    When submitting an application for a medical marijuana card, you’ll first need to create a username and password through Illinois’ online portal. Then, you’ll fill out an online application, where you’ll need to provide proof of identification, residence, physician certification, and age. Then, your application will be quickly reviewed, and if you are approved, you will be sent your temporary card within 24 hours.

  • What is the Opioid Alternative Program in Illinois?

    The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program was launched in Illinois in 2019 to minimize the potential for opioid addiction. The OAPP allows people who could receive a prescription for opioids to instead obtain a medical marijuana card.

  • Can I apply if I am a veteran?

    The short answer is yes. Illinois allows veterans to get medical cards, whether they get their healthcare through the VA or through a separate provider. Those who get healthcare through the VA can submit proof that they have had at least 12 months of treatment from the VA in lieu of a physician certification. Some veterans may also be eligible for reduced application fees.

  • Can I be/have a caregiver in Illinois?

    Illinois allows caregivers for certain types of medical marijuana patients. These include children as well as people with some terminal illnesses and some veterans. Caregivers in Illinois must be over the age of 21.

  • What is the income limit for a medical marijuana card in Illinois?

    There aren’t currently any income restrictions for medical marijuana cards in Illinois. However, there are some people that can qualify for reduced application fees, such as veterans.

    You can find more IL medical cannabis FAQs by clicking here.

  • Can you get a medical card at 18?

    Minors can’t get an Illinois medical marijuana card by themselves. A health care professional certification and a reviewing health care professional certification are required.

    According to info on the Illinois website, a designated caregiver shall be specified for a minor qualifying patient.

    A qualifying patient under 18 years of age may identify up to three designated caregivers; at least one caregiver must be the biological parent or legal guardian.

    Minors do not need to submit a photo, and families can choose from a one-year, two-year card, or three-year Medical Cannabis Registry Card.

  • Can any Illinois doctor prescribe medical marijuana?

    Only doctors who meet the following requirements can prescribe medical marijuana:

    • Doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987
    • Have a controlled substances license under Article III of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act
    • Be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois
    • Have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are certifying for medical cannabis.

  • What is the OAPP?

    This is the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program which was signed into law on August 28, 2018. The OAPP modified the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act by allowing access to medical cannabis for individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois. It offers qualifying patients an alternative to highly addictive opioids.

    Qualifying patients for OAPP must be a resident of Illinois and at least 21 years old. The patient must get a certification from a licensed physician stating that they have a medical condition for which opioid has been or could be prescribed.

    Physician certifications are valid for 90 days but can be renewed, and each 90-day registration period requires a $10 fee. Also, patients registered in the OAPP program can purchase 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every 14 days.

  • How much are the application fees?

    There are three Illinois medical marijuana application fee options for you as a qualifying patient. If you are a veteran or receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you’re eligible to receive a 50% discount on the application fee.

    The original fees are $50 for one year, $100 for two years, and $150 for three years, while the discounted fees are $25 for one year, $50 for two years, and $75 for three years.

    For caregivers, application fees are lower – $25 for one year, $50 for two years, and $75 for three years.

    Note that the application fees are non-refundable and can be paid online by credit or debit card.

  • Does insurance cover medical marijuana?

    No, insurance providers currently don’t offer Illinois medical marijuana patients’ coverage.

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