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Illinois Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Fully legal

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    2.5 oz

  • Recreational users

    1.05 oz

State taxes

  • Medical patients


  • Recreational users



  • Medical patients

    5 plants

  • Recreational users


  • Cultivation is legal
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Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Illinois

Once you have registered with Leafwell and been approved by one of our medical marijuana doctors online, apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

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Table of contents

  1. Marijuana Laws in Illinois
  2. What to Know About Medical Cannabis in Illinois
  3. Can You Grow Cannabis In Illinois?
  4. The Bottom Line

Cannabis is legal for both recreational and medical use in Illinois. Derivatives and cannabinoids of the hemp plant, such as delta-8 THC, are also legal in the state. There are significant benefits to becoming a registered medical cannabis patient in Illinois, including increased possession limits, employee protections, and the ability to cultivate cannabis.

Marijuana Laws in Illinois

The laws regulating medical and recreational cannabis programs differ from state to state. It’s a good idea to be well-informed about the laws and regulations that limit possession, potency, and cultivation before participating in a legal cannabis program as a patient or for personal use. Illinois’ cannabis laws around personal use differ slightly for residents and non-residents.

Medical Cannabis Laws

In August 2013, Illinois became the 20th state to create a medical cannabis program allowing for the cultivation and dispensing of cannabis for medical purposes. Getting a medical marijuana card in Illinois comes with benefits, including paying less at the register, increased possession limits, and the ability to cultivate.

To qualify for medical cannabis certification in Illinois, applicants must be residents of the state and at least 18 years of age or have a caregiver over the age of 21. The following individuals are ineligible for a medical card: active duty law enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, or firefighters, and active school bus permit holders or commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

Medical cannabis cardholders can possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14-day period. With a waiver from a doctor, this limit can be increased.

Medical marijuana patients registered with the state can also cultivate their medicine, whereas recreational consumers are not allowed. Another benefit of obtaining a medical cannabis card in Illinois is the employee protection it affords the user.

Medical cannabis patients only pay the state sales tax of 6.25% and local taxes of up to 3.5%. This is a substantial break from the taxes applied to recreational sales, which can reach as high as 34.75%.

Recreational Marijuana Laws

Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis in 2019 with the passing of HB 1438. This was one of the most equity-centric programs at the time, prioritizing equity and inclusion of communities most affected by the War on Drugs and setting a new standard for what cannabis legalization could look like.

Participants in the adult-use market who are Illinois residents are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrates, or up to 500 mg of THC in infused cannabis products. For non-residents, the possession limit is decreased to 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and no more than 250 milligrams of THC content in infused cannabis products.

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, all derivatives and cannabinoids of the hemp plant are also legal in Illinois, including CBD, delta-8, delta-10 THC, and more. They are not further regulated in the state of Illinois.

Products are subject to the state sales tax, local taxes, a tax that varies depending on the THC content of a product ranging from 10%-25%, and an overall tax on cannabis-infused products of 20%. Recreational cannabis products are taxed anywhere from 19.55%-34.75%, depending on the product’s potency and the local taxes.

Illinois residents are not permitted to cultivate cannabis for personal use. To grow marijuana, you must have a medical cannabis card and be over the age of 21. Public consumption of cannabis remains illegal, as is using cannabis and operating a motor vehicle.

Penalties for breaking the state’s cannabis laws range depending on the severity of the charge. Possession of over 30 grams for residents, for example, results in a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent offenses range from 3-15 years in prison with a maximum fine of $25,000.

What to Know About Medical Cannabis in Illinois

Medical cannabis has been legal for 10 years in Illinois, but the state program is still being updated and expanded. Since it’s subject to constant change, it’s advisable to keep up with the basic tenets of the program, like reciprocity laws, qualifying conditions, and telemedicine certification rules.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Illinois

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act states that qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a “debilitating condition” to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois. Recognized conditions include:

Telemedicine Is Allowed

Telemedicine is allowed for medical marijuana certification in Illinois. The application process for medical cannabis can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Leafwell to help you through the entire process from start to finish.

Illinois Does Not Have Reciprocity

Illinois does not have reciprocity laws on the books. However, there are several states and territories that recognize or accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, including:

*Visitors must complete a visiting patient application with the state program.

States that have recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older but do not accept out-of-state cards include:

Can You Grow Cannabis In Illinois?

Cultivating cannabis in Illinois is only legal for medical cannabis cardholders over 21 years old. Registered patients can grow up to five mature plants at a time, and no more than five plants are allowed per household, regardless of how many adults live at the residence. Cannabis plants must be cultivated in a secure place out of the public view.

The Bottom Line

Illinois is a fully legal state that has established recreational and medical cannabis programs. The sale, possession, and use of cannabis are legal for participants in either program.

However, only registered patients may cultivate their cannabis in the state. Medical cannabis patients in Illinois also benefit from employee protections, higher possession limits, and reduced taxation.

Qualify for Cannabis

If you live in a state with a medical program you could qualify for cannabis. Speak to a physician today to qualify and learn how cannabis can help you.