How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card In Illinois

The Complete Guide


Medical Marijuana Card Illinois

In this quick guide, we are going to tell you all you need to know about getting a medical marijuana card in the state of Illinois.

Here’s All You Need to Know.

As a Resident of Illinois, What is the process?

The state of Illinois is no stranger to Medical Cannabis, and unlike other states, activists and specific politicians are always pushing the topic forward, trying to turn the state into a recreational one.

Please note, a new House Bill 2353 and Senate Bill 316 has recently been proposed, which will allow adults to purchase cannabis and allow the state to establish a system to tax and regulate production and sales. It would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults. In regards to quantity, the proposed bill will allow residents to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis from a licensed store. Non-residents will be permitted to acquire up to half-ounce. For more information read Illinois’ taxing and regulating bill summary.

Until the bill is approved, only those that suffer from specific conditions can purchase medical cannabis with the help of a medical marijuana card.

The steps to obtain an MMJ Card are as follows:

1) The first step is to be diagnosed by a doctor as having a condition that requires medical cannabis. Please note that not all conditions are eligible. Your physician will need to provide documentation indicating you’ve been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition or a terminal illness for which medical marijuana is recommended as treatment.

All physicians by law are required to completed the Physician Written Certification Form and mail it from the physician’s office to the Department’s Division of Medical Cannabis. The certification must be received within 90 days of your application and must show an in-person visit date within the last 90 days.

It is also best if you can obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your physician describing the diagnosis of your condition and attach them to the application.

Along with your recommendation, you will need to prove that you are a resident of Illinois. For this you can provide a copy of your state I.D., passport, or any other photo I.D.

All applications should be submitted to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761-0001

2) The next step is to complete a fingerprint-based background check within 30 days of submitting your application and not have been convicted of an excluded offense (a felony under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act, or Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or similar provisions in a local ordinance or other jurisdiction), unless the Department waives such a conviction(s).

Should you require the Fingerprint consent form please click here

If you have any further questions, you can also contact them directly at 1-855-636-3688 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

Are There Any Other Requirements?


  • You cannot hold a school bus permit or Commercial Driver’s License; and
  • You cannot be an active duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter.
  • Your doctor must be licensed under the the Medical Practice Act of 1987, have a controlled substances license under Article III of Illinois Controlled Substances Act, be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois, and have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient whose debilitating condition they are certifying.

Tip – Make sure your doctor’s handwriting is clear. Applications that are not clear could cause delays in processing.

What are the Costs Involved?

Patients are required to submit a Patient Application Form, along with an application fee in the amount of $100, or $50 for persons enrolled in federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs, and veterans, to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

*All fees paid are non-refundable.

Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)

How Long Will It take to Receive My Card?

Considering that all documents were submitted correctly, the department has up to 30 days to approve or deny your application.

What are the Conditions Required to receive a Medical Marijuana Card?

Qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition, as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois.

  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome

What is the status of my application?

To find out the status of your request, you may email IDPH at [email protected]

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How Do I Get a Renewal?

Unfortunately, card renewals cannot be done online. To renew your card, you are required to mail a letter with all your information 6–90 days before expiration. If your card expires and you have not extended it, you will be required to go through the new application process.

I’m From Out of State, How to I Buy Medical Marijuana?

It is important to understand that not all dispensaries will honor your out-of-state card and even if you have a valid Medical Marijuana Card.

Should you wish to apply for a medical marijuana card in Ohio but live out of state, the state may accept out-of-state registry I.D. cards, but this is determined by the Department of Public Health on a case by case situation.

If you already have a card from a different state, it is always best to contact your preferred dispensary to understand their exact requirements before heading over.

How much Medical Marijuana Can I purchase?

In the state of Ohio, current laws are as follows:

Qualified registered Illinois patients, may legally possess an “adequate” supply of medical marijuana. The state law defines an “adequate supply” specifically, as “2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days, derived solely from an intrastate source”.

Those who are caught with marijuana and are not in possession of a medical card, approved by the state, are risking jail time, imprisonment and felony, depending on the amount found when being questioned by authorities.

Can I Take My Meds to a Different State?


Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they cross state lines with the drug. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana. Should you need to travel with your marijuana it would be best to contact the state’s Bureau of health to understand the exact laws of the state you are traveling to in order to not risk breaking the law.

Related Article: How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card By State

Who Can Use Medical Marijuana?

Patients must be at least 18 years of age.

Can I use Medical Marijuana Anywhere?

It is important to remember marijuana consumption is illegal on a Federal Level. It is advised to consume your medicine responsibly according to the laws of the state.

How Much Should I Consume?

We are not doctors or physicians, and therefore you should always consult with a professional before using.

Should you have any other questions, feel free to contact us through our Facebook Page.

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card In Illinois
April 22, 2017
  1. Debra Tomlinson

    Getting a Medical card with so many health benefits is not an easy task in Illinois. This article helped me a lot.

  2. harryy1469

    I applied Oct 10th and still have not heard anything. I sent an email about a status update and no reply still a week later.

    1. Adam

      Have you tried calling them?

  3. Melissa

    I sent my paperwork off in mid November, and I still have not heard anything from Illinois.. I’ve also called the bank a few times to check and see if the money was cashed, so far it has not been…I’m wondering, how long should I wait before stopping payment on the money order??

    1. Adam

      That is a tough one. Remember you are dealing with state office, so it could take some time. Also December was packed with holidays. The process does take a while. I think if you don’t here anything back within 90 days of submission, you are best to contact them.

  4. Denise Vallejo

    Getting a medical card in illinois is very difficult. Thanks for the info

  5. Linda Chavez

    I was in desperate need for a medical card.Thanks for describing the exact process.

  6. Margaret Rothrock

    Marijuana card is important for me as I have to take my kid for seizures treatment so with the card, I get the medicine easily

  7. Edna Cuevas

    My hands are injured so I cannot give fingerprint test. What should I do now? Please assist

  8. Elizabeth Collins

    I submitted my application to extend it on the 90th day, will it be valid or do I have to submit a new application to get marijuana card?

    1. Adam

      You will have to contact them for that. Only they will know. Sorry

  9. Ludie Gray

    I am a nonresident and under 21 but happy that I can take up to half an ounce of marijuana.

  10. Alma

    Ahhh, my application got delayed due to bad doctor’s handwriting. Please guys, make sure your doctor writes well to get medical cards on time. Thanks by the way for this post.

  11. Canna Connoisseur

    I have submitted my application in early August as well..still no response from the State 🙁

    I have also heard that the State is only able to submit and process 1000 new applications a month, so if you were at the end of a month when you sent in the application, it may have been put on a backlist and maybe processed the following month.
    *Source* Dispensary Agent

    1. SouthernSmoke

      Just curious are u still waiting? i submitted my paperwork first week of Sept. and were in mid Nov. now and still no word. thanks in advance if u could reply.

    2. Jw

      Just wondering….have you gotten your card yet?

  12. Waiting and waiting

    An application for my husband was submitted in early August and we have not heard a word either way. Also, they will not answer the phone or return a status on your email request because they are ‘to busy’ processing applications. Just a fair warning if you actually try emailing for calling the state.

    1. Adam

      Hi, Thanks for the update. It’s important that our readers are aware of what is going on in Illinois.

  13. Kristin

    I got a letter that my picture was too dark, so I got a new picture, sent it via email, how much longer will it take?

    1. Kristin

      I’m in IL

  14. Sally

    Very informative and educational post. It’s hard to find this information on the web.

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