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A medical card in Illinois is required for individuals who want to purchase medical marijuana legally. Medical marijuana usage has skyrocketed in the United States. 39 states and 4 U.S territories have legalized it for medicinal purposes. 

In Illinois, medical marijuana (MMJ) has been legal since 2013, and many people are taking advantage of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program as an alternative to conventional medical treatments. 

To enter a state-approved dispensary and purchase medical marijuana, you must have a valid medical card. In this post, we’ll address your need to know about getting a medical card in Illinois. From eligibility to how to apply and the benefits of having a card.

Who is Eligible for a Medical Card in Illinois?

To qualify for a medical card in Illinois, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older unless you have parental or guardian consent. Parents or guardians must be present during the appointment.
  • Be a resident of Illinois and have a valid Illinois state-approved ID or driver’s license. 
  • You must have a qualifying medical condition

Illinois Qualifying Medical Conditions

How to Apply for an Illinois Medical Card

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can follow these steps to apply for a medical card in. 

  • Get approved and certified by a licensed medical provider The doctor must confirm that you have a qualifying medical condition and that medical marijuana could be beneficial in helping to manage your symptoms. 
  • Register with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program – Once you have the certification from your doctor, register with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. That can be achieved on the program’s website. (It is easy)
  • Pay the application fee – The cost for a medical card in Illinois is $100 for 1 year, $200 for 2 years, and $250 for 3 years. You may be eligible for a reduced fee if you’re on Medicaid or have a veteran’s status. Reduced patient application fees are $25 for 1 year, $50 for 2 years, and $75 for 3 years.
  • Wait for approval – Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the fee, you will get an email approving the application as long as it was filled out correctly. Once the application is approved, you’ll receive your medical card via email, and the physical card will follow in the mail within a few weeks later.

Illinois Medical Card Benefits

  • Lower taxes – Medical marijuana is subject to lower taxes in Illinois than recreational taxes. With a medical card, you’ll pay only 1% in sales tax, compared to as high as 41% for adult recreational use programs.
  • Get approved for a medical card through telemedicine (virtually online or by phone) -See the doctor at a place that’sthats comfortable for you and get approved without having to go into the office. 
  • Legal protection – With a medical card, you’re legally protected when using medical marijuana. You won’t be subject to criminal penalties for using or possessing marijuana as long as you use it for medicinal purposes.
  • Access to dispensaries – Only individuals with medical cards can access medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois. With a medical card, you can purchase medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries.
  • Higher possession limits – Individuals with medical cards can possess more marijuana than those without. With a medical card, you can purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical weed every 14 days. Home grow possession 
  • Grow your own cannabis plants – Medical patients are allowed to grow cannabis in a secure enclosed location with proper locks, while recreational users cannot. Home grow possession limits are 30 grams of flower, 5 grams of concentrates, and up to 500 milligrams of a THC-infused product. 
  • Patient discountsDispensaries often give medical patients discounts ranging from 10-40%.

If you have or think you have a qualifying medical condition and are interested in using medical marijuana to manage your symptoms, simply meet with a qualified marijuana doctor, get evaluated, and be approved for a medical card. If you follow the steps outlined, you can apply for a medical card and have legal protection, access to dispensaries, tax savings, and some other benefits. 

Only use medical marijuana under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional. MMJ has shown promise in managing certain medical conditions, but using it responsibly and safely is essential for everyone’s protection.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s website has everything on the medical cannabis program, including FAQs, forms, and regulations. You can also speak with a marijuana doctor about whether medical marijuana could be a good treatment option for your needs.

A medical card in Illinois is essential for anyone who wants to access medically approved state dispensaries to receive significant savings on products. If you meet the eligibility criteria, meet a doctor and apply for a medical card to get the benefits Illinois residents voted to approve. Always use medical marijuana under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional, and make sure you follow the regulations set forth by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

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Article reviewed by:

Dr. Richard Koffler

Richard Koffler, MD

NPI Number- 1467557264

  • Dr. Koffler is a Physiatrist, specializing in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 
  • Graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in 1993 Dr. Koffler completed a one-year internship in internal medicine at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. 
  • Residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute at NYU Medical Center in New York City. Board certified in 1998. 
  • Trained in acupuncture at Helms Medical Institute at UCLA His medical practice incorporates proven conventional western medicine integrating eastern alternative practices. 
  • Medical Director of several medical clinics in NYC, Stamford CT, and Miami Beach, FL.