How to Get an Illinois Medical Cannabis Card in 2022

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - VP of Operations

Apr 13 2020 - 11 min read

Are you interested in getting a Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois? You’ve come to the right place. We hope this article acts as a valuable guide to help you understand the process of applying for your MMJ Card. We keep this information up to date to make sure it is accurate and makes your journey as simple as possible. Keep reading to find out more.

Table of contents
    1. Getting an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Online with Leafwell Using Telehealth
    2. Who Can Apply for an Illinois Medical Cannabis Identity Card?
    3. What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Illinois?
    4. Why Apply for an MMJ Card if Recreational Cannabis is Legal in Illinois? What Are the Advantages of Having an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card?
    5. How do I Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois?
    6. What Does My Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?
    7. How Much Does it Cost to Get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card?
    8. Which Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Illinois?
    9. What Documents Do I Need to Apply for an IL Medical Cannabis Card?
    10. Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?
    11. Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Illinois?
    12. Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card with Leafwell?
    13. Does Illinois Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
    14. Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Chicago, Aurora, Rockford and Joliet, Illinois with Leafwell
    15. History of Medical Marijuana in Illinois
    16. Illinois Medical Marijuana Laws
    17. Useful Links

Getting an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Online with Leafwell Using Telehealth

Cannabis in Illinois is legal for recreational and medical use. It became the 11th state to legalise recreational marijuana on January 1st 2020. However, it is still recommended to obtain a medical marijuana card if possible. Read on to find out about the many benefits.

Unlike many states, a medical cannabis recommendation Illinois generally lasts 2 years for most people. This makes getting an Illinois medical cannabis recommendation and card of immense value. You may use any dispensary in Illinois. In the past, you had to choose a specific one (usually the one closest to you). This is no longer the case.

Telehealth/telemedicine is available, and at the moment new patients can establish a relationship with a physician online. In the past, prior to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place, a relationship must first be established between patient and physician in-person. This is no longer the case, although it may revert back to this state in the future. For now, you can easily get a medical marijuana card online with Leafwell. If you require the advice of a specialist or need certification for a minor, we can help get a medical marijuana certificate in such instances, too!

With Leafwell, it is quick and simple and secure to get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card online. We’ve put together this valuable guide which will answer all your questions and help individuals living in Illinois State understand the importance of applying for their Illinois MMJ Card via the easy, HIPAA Compliant process offered by Leafwell’s telemedicine platform. You can visit our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Medical Marijuana Card for more general information.

Who Can Apply for an Illinois Medical Cannabis Identity Card?

To apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois you must be a legal resident of Illinois State.

Patients must be aged 18 or over in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card in Illinois, or have a caregiver who can access cannabis if the patient is a minor or adult who cannot buy/grow for themselves. Illinois medical marijuana caregivers must be aged 21 or over.

What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Illinois?

Here are the possession limits in Illinois:

  • Illinois patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis over a 14-day period. Patients may apply for a waiver in order to be allowed to possess more.
  • 30 g recreational as of 01/01/2020 for residents of Illinois. Non-residents may possess up to 15 g.
  • Possession Limit (Concentrates): 500 mg of THC-infused products or 5 grams of concentrate for all Illinois residents, medical or not.
  • 250 mg of THC-infused product or 2.5 grams of concentrate for non-Illinois residents as of 01/01/2020.

There are many reasons to apply for an MMJ Card if you are eligible, despite recreational cannabis being legal in Illinois:

  • You save money on taxes, in some cases up to 30 per cent or more difference in the cost of the same product.
  • Products with a higher amount of THC are also taxed more, and medical users can save money on this, too.
  • Access to more, better quality products. Medical patients also have priority when it comes to products, so qualifying patients essentially get “first dibs”.
  • Those who qualify for medical cannabis in Illinois can legally grow their own plants – up to 5 per household.
  • Recreational users cannot grow cannabis.

When you apply for the card, patients are required to enrol on the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP).

How do I Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois?

With Leafwell, you can get your Illinois Medical Marijuana Card in 4 simple steps:

1. Register online with Leafwell.

It’s quick and easy! Plus all of your data and medical records are secure on our state-of-the-art telemedicine platform.

2. Book an appointment with a certified physician with Leafwell.

This initial consultation fee is $199 for an examination, subject to change.

3. Attend your online appointment and get a medical cannabis certificate online from a state-licensed physician.

The process is quick, simple and HIPAA-compliant. Most appointments take 15 minutes or less.

4. Get qualified for medical cannabis by attaching your certificate to a completed application.

Once you’ve been approved by a physician, you’ll receive instructions for completing the Illinois state website application. In the meantime, your Leafwell physician will submit your details to the state – we recommend you wait 24-48 hours until starting the state side of the process yourself

The application fee, payable to the state, is $50 for a 1 year card, $100 for a 2 year card or $125 for a 3 year card. The application fee and the physician’s fee (mentioned above) are separate.

You will receive a digital card approximately 30 minutes after the state has processed your application. Please note that there are no more physical cards in Illinois – everything is now digital

The cost of renewing a medical cannabis certification in Illinois is $149. The state application fees are $50, $100 or $125 for a 1, 2 or 3 year card respectively, and this is separate from the consultation fee.

What Does My Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?

Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. You need to register your details and, if you have them, we invite you to upload your medical records (this isoptuional). These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners who can familiarise themselves with your application before your consultation.

The consultation itself is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with an Illinois registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for a range of medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions with regards to your medical conditions and history.

At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner will be able to make an informed decision about whether he or she recommends the use of medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification by submitting your details to the Illinois government. You can then complete your own side of the application.

If an application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email detailing why our registered practitioner felt unable to provide you with the certificate. You will not be charged for the consultation.

Once obtained the certification will last for three years.

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card?

The initial consultation with one of the Illinois Registered Practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA compliant online consultation service carries a one off fee of $199. However, if you do not qualify for an MMJ Card and our practitioner elects not to sign your certificate, you will not be charged.

Upon submitting your application to the Illinois government, you will pay an application fee of $50, $100 or $125 for a 1, 2, or 3 year card. This is separate to the Leafwell fee.

The medical marijuana recommendation in Illinois is valid for 3 years.

We renew certificates, too. All you need to do is speak to a Leafwell physician and submit your certificate online via the account you created from your initial application. A renewal cost $149.

Which Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Illinois?

For your application to be successful, a registered practitioner must certify a permanent or temporary diagnosis of one or more of the conditions listed under Illinois law.

According to the Illinois medical cannabis program in 2021, the following conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana card in Illinois:

Note that this list is up to date as of August 2021. Legislation or the Commissioner of Health may add additional conditions, at which time, Leafwell will update this list.

By taking the correct dose of medical marijauna, many patients who experience symptoms from these conditions find their lives transformed. Medical marijuana can give individuals back their energy and capacity to enjoy life, get out in the fresh air and lead a comfortable, healthy and happy existence in Illinois. We believe in the power of medical marijuana to change lives for the better and give individuals the power to control their own medical conditions. Our licensed physicians believe this too which is why they work with Leafwell and help as many patients as possible to secure a medical marijuana card if they, as experts, believe cannabis may help alleviate symptoms and medical issues.


What Documents Do I Need to Apply for an IL Medical Cannabis Card?

In order to apply for your MMJ Card in Illinois, you will need to show your signed certificate which provides proof of your condition as well as your identification documents. You should gather together the following:

  • ID
  • Proof of address
  • Your signed certificate (which can be obtained via Leafwell)
  • A passport-sized and style photo

Below are all of the acceptable forms of ID these documents may take.

Acceptable ID

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • State-produced ID card – patients must be a resident of Illinois

Acceptable proof of residency

  • Bank statement
  • Utility bill dated within the last two months
  • Correspondence with a state department

Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?

No, it’s not required but if you have them, our healthcare providers do like to see them because it helps them develop a comprehensive understanding of your medical history. This allows them to provide an accurate assessment to ensure that medical cannabis is a good option for each patient on a case by case basis.

Veterans who receive health services from Veteran’s Administration (VA) Facilities are not required to obtain a written certification from a physician, but can instead submit 12 months of VA records along with their application.

How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Patients under the age of 18 or those who are unable to manage the use of medical cannabis themselves may select a designated caregiver to assist with the patient’s use of medical cannabis. Minors will need certification from two (2) physicians. Patients under the age of 18 may have two designated caregivers, if both are parents or legal guardians with significant responsibilities for the patient.  Designated caregivers must be 21 years of age or older.

Caregivers must apply for a Registry ID Card online through the state of Illinois’ online application portal or by completing and submitting a printed application available online.

The application process and requirements for designated caregivers is similar to that of patients applying for a medical marijuana card for themselves.

Registry ID Cards for designated caregivers are valid for 3 years and cost $75 if applied for at the same time as the patient and $100 if applied for separately.

Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Illinois?

Yes, it is legal for a qualifying Illinois medical marijuana patient to grow up to 5 plants in their own household. This limit applies to the whole household, regardless of how many qualifying patients live there.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card with Leafwell?

Yes. Leafwell is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients. Our online service is HIPAA compliant and our systems are designed to keep all of your confidential details safe.

Does Illinois Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Some states accept out-of-state Medical Marijuana Cards. This is called reciprocity. The following states accept out-of-state medical cannabis cards:

  • Alaska ^
  • Arkansas *
  • California ^
  • Colorado ^
  • Hawaii *
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma *
  • Oregon ^
  • Puerto Rico
  • Washington ^
  • Washington D.C.

States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for the duration of their stay.

States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out of state cards.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Chicago, Aurora, Rockford and Joliet, Illinois with Leafwell

Some towns in Illinois have banned the selling of recreational cannabis except for within state-licensed dispensaries. Click here for a full list of these towns. However, most towns have relaxed their cannabis laws and the product can be easily and legally obtained across the state.

Anyone over the age of 21 within Illinois can legally buy recreational marijuana from state-approved dispensaries. You must show a government-issued ID to purchase, just as you must show your MMJ card to purchase from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Regardless of where you are in Illinois, you can get a medical marijuana card online with Leafwell, MD. Here are our clinics:

Leafwell MD Justice, Illinois Online Medical Marijuana Clinic

8008 W 84th St, Justice, IL 60458, USA

Leafwell MD Chicago, Illinois Medical Marijuana Telehealth Clinic

5780 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60632

Leafwell MD Palos Heights, Illinois Virtual Clinic

7300 W College Dr, Palos Heights, IL 60463, USA

Leafwell MD Homewood, IL Online MMJ Doctor

1131 175th St, Homewood, IL 60430, USA

Remember: you don’t have to visit a clinic in-person in order to qualify for a certificate & MMJ card in Illinois – you can do it all online, with Leafwell!

medical marijuana card illinois
Marijuana laws are strict in Illinois. Drop Leafwell a line if you need some help or are planning on coming to Illinois for an online consultation.

History of Medical Marijuana in Illinois

Here’s a brief overview of cannabis in Illinois:

  • 1931 – Illinois prohibited the recreational use of cannabis
  • 1978 – The Cannabis Control Act technically allows medical marijuana but was never actioned by state departments
  • 2013 – House Bill 1 (HB 1) is approved and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn, entitled “The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”. This established the right for patients and their appointed caregivers to be protected from arrest, prosecution or denial of any right or privilege. Provisions for cultivation centers and dispensaries are also outlined.
  • 2014 – Department of Public Health released revised rules for the implementation of medical marijuana laws.
  • 2014 – Governor Quinn signs Senate Bill 2636 (SB 2636), which allows for those aged under 18 to access non-smokable medical cannabis for all the same conditions those aged 18 or over can be recommended cannabis. Epilepsy is added to the list of qualifying conditions.
  • 2016 – Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) extends the Illinois Pilot Program to 2020.
  • 2019/2020 – Cannabis is made legal in Illinois, and non-medical patients can now legally purchase their preferred meds & strains. This became law on 1st January 2020. Interestingly, at the time this bill was enacted, approximately 700,000 marijuana-related police records and court convictions were to be expunged (due to be completed by 2025).

Illinois Medical Cannabis Laws

Patients with a valid medical marijuana card may possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14-day period.

Home cultivation is prohibited.

State-licensed dispensaries are allowed.

Caregivers must be aged 21 or over, and may only serve one patient who is too sick to pick up their medication, and is homebound.

Cannabis is decriminalized in Illinois. Possession of 10 grams or less is a Civil Violation, and can bring with it a fine of up to $200. Possession of any more than 10 g and less than 30 is considered a misdemeanor and can bring with it prison time of up to one year and/or a $1,000 fine. Subsequent offenses bring a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one year, increasing if the possession amount is greater than 10 grams.

Sale or trafficking of less than 2.5 g of cannabis is a misdemeanor and can bring an incarceration period of 6 months and/or a fine of $1,500. Cultivation of 5 plants or less brings similar penalties, as does sale or distribution of paraphernalia.

Penalties for hash and concentrates are similar to those of dried cannabis flower

Civil asset forfeiture is a possibility when charged.

Note – you cannot consume cannabis in the following spaces:

  • Any public place, such as streets or parks
  • At a hospital
  • In any motor vehicle
  • Airports
  • On school grounds, with the exception of medical users
  • Private properties and landlords can still prohibit cannabis consumption on their own properties
  • Buses, trains, cars, trucks
  • Government buildings
  • Near someone under the age of 21 (with the exception of medical users over the age of 18)
  • Near an on-duty school bus driver, police officer, firefighter or corrections officer

It is possible for Illinois business owners to dismiss workers based on their use of marijuana at work. Individual businesses can implement their own marijuana policies.

To find out more about getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois, get in touch with the expert Leafwell team today or use any of these verified resources below:

Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

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