How to Obtain Your Medical Cannabis Card
The Illinois Department of Public Health issues the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Identification Card. Here’s a summary of what you’ll need to apply:
- Physician’s diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition, or be diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
- Proof of Illinois residency
- Age of at least 18, unless you have epileptic seizures* or be diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
- Have a signed Physician Certification form
- Fingerprint, Fingerprint Consent Form found on page 3 of the application, and photo ID, unless diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
*For Younger Patients
Qualifying patients under 18 need a parent or guardian to serve as a primary caregiver, with a written recommendation of two physicians.
We’d like every qualified patient to have an easy experience obtaining a medical cannabis card. Sometimes, though, trying to get the card can be complicated or confusing. That’s why we assembled a checklist to help you get your card as easily and quickly as possible.
Medical Cannabis Card Checklist
If you have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, here’s what you need to know to apply for a medical cannabis card.
Get It Right the First Time
Review the following checklist carefully. It may help to print a hard copy, too. Remember: Incomplete or improper applications can delay the card’s issue.
- Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about using medical cannabis.
- If your doctor thinks it’s right for you, s/he must complete a Physician Written Certification Form and mail it to the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Schedule your appointment within 90 days of submitting your personal application
- Veterans: If you receive care from a VA facility, you can submit medical records from the VA about your qualifying medical condition during the past year instead of a Physician Written Certification Form
- Fill out your personal Patient Application Form completely and accurately.
- On the form, you can choose a cannabis dispensary, but it’s not necessary
- If you do not want to assign a caregiver, leave that section blank
- Remember to sign the last page of your patient application
- Do not send in your application without all of the following support documentation
- A 2” x 2” photo of yourself
- You can have the photo taken by a passport photo service, OR
- You can have a friend take the photo, but use a plain white background, look straight into the camera and make sure your entire face shows in the photo
- Do not use a “selfie”
- At least two forms of ID indicating you are an Illinois resident
- Acceptable ID forms include utility bills, bank statements, driver’s license and state ID (Check the Patient Application Form for a full list of acceptable ID forms)
- The addresses on each ID document must match the address on your application
- Do not send original ID documents – send only copies
- Proof of your age and address
- Use a copy of a current and valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
- If you are assigning a Caregiver, include a completed and signed Caregiver Application. Learn more about becoming a caregiver.
- The Caregiver Application must be completed correctly
- The person applying for the caregiver position must include a separate set of supporting documents much like those used in the Patient Application form
- The Caregiver Application fee is $75
Your fingerprints will be used to confirm your identity and check any criminal background you may have.
- Use a service registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Fees for this service vary. We suggest you get quotes from more than one agency.)
- Fill out the Fingerprint Consent Form found on page 3 of the application and include the Transaction Control Number
- After you are fingerprinted, you have only 30 days to submit the completed Fingerprint Consent Form together with your patient application
- Include application fee (payable by check, money order or, if applying online, credit card information).
- The standard fee is $300
- A reduced fee of $150 applies to veterans or people enrolled in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability program
- All fees are non-refundable
- If you receive SSDI or SSI: Include a copy of a dated benefit verification letter that is less than one year old
- Veterans: Include a copy of your DD214
- Check – and double-check – all your information and support documentation before mailing your package to:
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761-0001If you have questions about your application, please call or email: DPH Division of Medical Cannabis, 855-636-3688 or DPH.MedicalCannabis@Illinois.gov
Congratulations! You’re done with your application. According to the Department of Public Health, your application will be approved or denied within 30 days.