The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which went into effect officially August 1st, 2013, legalized the possession, use, sale, production, and manufacturing of medical cannabis under certain guidelines for registered qualified patients, caregivers, and licensed dispensaries. This is a “pilot program”, meaning that if the legislature does not renew or create a new law, the medical canabis program will be repealed four years from it’s date.
How much can a patient possess?
A registered qualified patient or their caregiver may posess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis at one time. Patients may apply for a waiver if their physician can explain that the quantity is insufficient.
How does a patient get approved for medical marijuana?
Only residents of Illinois who are 18 or older, suffering from at least one approved medical condition, and certified by a licensed physician may apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card.
The Department of Public Health began receiving applications for patients and caregivers with the last names beginning “A” through “L” on September 1st, 2014 through October 31st, 2014. Patients and caregivers with lasts names “M” through “Z” may apply in November 1st, 2014 through December 31st, 2014. Beginning January 1st, 2015, applications will be accepted from any patient year-round. Visit the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website apply online or print your Illinois Medical Cannabis Qualifying Patient Registry Identification Card Application and mail it to the Department of Health’s Division of Cannabis. Click here to apply!
Patients must also visit their physician and seek a written certification. A written certification is a document signed by the physician stating that the patient will receive health benefits from medical cannabis, what the patient’s qualifying condition is, and that the patient is under the physicians care for the condition.
Your physician must fall under these guidelines in order to provide a written certification:
The medical provider must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under 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 they are certifying for medical cannabis.
Applications for patients are $100 annually, or $50 for veterans and qualifying patients enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) disability programs. Applications for caregivers are $25 annually. Written certificates are free, however, a physician may charge a fee for any examinations required. Medical cannabis registration cards may be replaced for $25.
What are the qualifying medical conditions for a medical cannabis patient?
In order to qualify for medical cannabis, a physician must certify a patient has at least one of the following conditions approved by The Department of Public Health:
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomelia
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
- Crohn’s disease
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II)
- Fibromyalgia (severe)
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-concussion syndrome
- RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I)
- Residual limb pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy (Starting January 1, 2015)
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Spinal cord disease, including, but not limited to, arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Other medical conditons may be added to the list by the Department of Public Health.
Can a minor apply for a medical cannabis registration card?
On January 1, 2015, Public Act 98-0775 will come into effect and the Department of Public Health will begin accepting applications from patients under the age of 18 who suffer from seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy.
Can registered qualified patients grow their own?
No. Patients and caregivers cannot cultivate cannabis, they may only purchase it through a medical cannabis dispensary.
Where can patients and caregivers buy medical cannabis?
There are currently no dispensaries in operation.
Which districts are expecting dispensaries?
- District 1 – Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties
- District 6 – DeWitt, Livingston and McLean counties
- District 7 – Henry, Knox, Mercer and Rock Island counties
- District 8 – Marshall , Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties
- District 9 – Cass, Christian, Logan, Mason , Menard , Morgan and Sangamon counties
- District 10 – Champaign , Coles, Douglas, Edgar , Macon, Moultrie , Piatt, Shelby and Vermilion counties
- District 11 – Bond, Clinton, Madison , Monroe and St. Clair counties
- District 12 – Clark, Clay, Crawford , Cumberland , Effingham , Fayette, Jasper , Lawrence, Marion and Richland counties
- District 13 – Franklin , Jackson, Jefferson , Perry, Randolph , Washington and Williamson counties
- District 14 – Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties
- District 16 – Boone, Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties
- District 17 – Bureau, La Salle and Putnam counties
- District 18 – Calhoun , Greene, Jersey , Macoupin, Montgomery counties
- District 19 – Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne and White counties
- District 20 – Adams, Brown, Pike, Schuyler and Scott counties
- District 21 – Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee counties
- District 22 – Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac , Pope, Pulaski and Union counties
- DeKalb County
- DuPage County
- Grundy and Kendall counties
- Kane County
- Lake County
- McHenry County
- Will County
- Cook County, outside the city of Chicago
- City of Chicago
What is a caregiver?
Under the Illinois medical marijuana program, a caregiver is a person selected by a qualifying patient that is allowed to possess and purchase 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis from a dispensary. Caregivers may not use medical cannabis dispensed on the behalf of their qualifying patient. Caregivers are issued medical cannabis registry identification card by the Department of Public Health. Caregivers may only serve one patient, and may not receive any payment or compensation for their services.
Are medical cannabis cards from other states honored in Illinois?
Can patients consume their medical cannabis publically?
No. Medical cannabis use is prohibited in “a school bus, on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school, in any correctional facility, in any motor vehicle, in a private residence used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises and in any public place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others. A public place includes all parts of buildings owned in a whole or in part, or leased, by the state or local unit of government. A public place does not include a private residence unless the private residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care or other similar social service care on the premises. Using medical cannabis is also prohibited in a health care facility or any other place where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke-free Illinois Act and knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 18.”
How are patients protected under the program?
Patients may not be arrested, prosecuted, or face any criminal or other penalties for engaging in medical cannabis use compliant under state law. Patients in need of organ transplants may not be discrimated against by medical care professionals. Landlords may not refuse to rent to patients, however they prohibit smoking on premsises. Schools and employers also may not discriminate against patient status unless they face restrictions under federal law (eg; colleges and universities receiving federal funding). Employers may still enforce drug-free policies and test, and are not required to allow possession or use on duty.
Stay regular super stoners~
the list of medical ailments you must have is pretty much all really serious stuff but at least we’re making progress.