Cultivating a New Tomorrow


Frequently Asked Questions

Since the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act went into effect January 1, 2014, many concerns have arisen surrounding the laws and processes of The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (CUMCPPA). Following are answers to common questions of Illinois cannabis patients and caregivers, including information about how to apply for a Medical Cannabis Registry Identification Card (MCRIC).

Q: What are the qualifying conditions for the State of Illinois?
A: Conditions that currently qualify for medical cannabis use in Illinois are:

* Any other debilitating medical condition or its treatment that is added by the Illinois Department of Public Health

Q: If I have one of the above debilitating medical conditions do I automatically qualify to become a medical cannabis patient in Illinois?
A: No. To become a medical cannabis patient in Illinois, you must apply for a Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Identification Card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Eligibility requires that you:

Q: What is the meaning of “Excluded Offense?”
A: An Excluded Offense is considered a violent crime as defined by Section 3 of the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act, or similar offense classified as a felony, such as a violation of a state or federal controlled substance law classified as a felony in the state where the conviction took place. It is possible for the Department of Public Health to waive a person’s conviction if he/she satisfactorily demonstrates to the Department that the cannabis felony was intended for medical use. This exception does not apply to parties convicted and/or involved in a violation under the state’s existing medical cannabis law.

Q: How do I, as a patient, apply for the Medical Cannabis Patient Registration Identification Card?
A: The basic application process is as follows (click here for full details):

Q: How long does it take to receive my MCRIC?
A: The Illinois Department of Public Health will review and either approve or deny your application within 30 days.

Q: When will my MCRIC expire?
A: Your MCPRIC is valid for three years.

Q: What is the application fee for an MCRIC?
A: The MCRIC application fee is $300 for qualifying patients. However, applicants enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income disability programs may qualify for a reduced fee of $150. If you have been diagnosed with a Terminal Illness, there are no application fees.

Q: How much cannabis may I possess?
A: The Illinois Medical Cannabis program allows for patients to obtain and transport up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis for a period of 14 days.

Q: Does the state of Illinois honor out-of-state registries?
A: No, there are currently no reciprocity agreements in place with other states.

Q: Does state law protect me from federal Cannabis laws?
A: No. Possession and distribution of cannabis by any person remains a criminal offense under federal law.

Q: What is the process of becoming a caregiver?
A: Learn more about the Caregiver Application process here. Patients may designate a caregiver. S/he must go through a similar application process listed above for patients and submit a Designated Caregiver Registry Identification Card Application with an application fee of $75. Note: If a caregiver is designated, the Caregiver Application must be submitted with the Patient Application. A caregiver may not cultivate cannabis for the patient, and is only allowed to obtain or possess on behalf of one qualified patient.

Q: Can a minor become a patient in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program?
A: Yes, patients under 18 who have one or more of the qualifying medical conditions listed above may be registered in the program by assigning their parent or legal guardian as their selected caregiver.

Q: If I am a Veteran receiving medical treatment from a Veterans’ hospital, can I become a qualified patient?
A: Federal law currently prohibits doctors at federally-funded Veterans’ hospitals from issuing written recommendations for medical cannabis. However, Veterans who are Illinois residents can still obtain a Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Identification Card without a physician recommendation by following these steps:

Q: Does health insurance cover the costs of medicine?
A: No insurance companies in Illinois currently cover the cost of medical cannabis for patients.

Q: What types of products will be available for patients?
A: Cannabis flower, edibles and concentrates will be available at your selected dispensary.

Q: Where can I use medical cannabis in Illinois?
A: Use of medical cannabis is prohibited in the following places:

*A public place” includes all parts of buildings owned (wholly or in part) or leased by the state or local unit of government, or any place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others.

A public place does not include a private residence (unless property is used to provide licensed childcare, foster care or other similar social service care on the premises).