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

    1%

  • Recreational users

    16-31%

Cultivation

  • Medical patients

    5 plants

  • Recreational users

    Illegal


  • Cultivation is legal
Learn more

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. Is cannabis legal in Illinois?
  2. What are the medical marijuana laws in Illinois?
  3. What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois?
  4. How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Illinois?
  5. Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Illinois?
  6. How much cannabis can I possess in Illinois with an MMJ Card?
  7. Is it legal to grow cannabis in Illinois?
  8. Does Illinois accept out-of-state cards?
  9. Will my Illinois card be accepted in other states?
  10. Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Illinois?
  11. What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Illinois?
  12. Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Illinois?
  13. Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Illinois?

Both medical cannabis and adult use of marijuana is legal in Illinois.


What are the medical marijuana laws in Illinois?

Medical cannabis laws:

2013

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act

  • Established rights for patients and caregivers over 18
  • Includes a list of qualifying conditions
  • Effective from January 1, 2014
  • Taxation for medical cannabis products is 1%
  • Permitted possession of 2.5 ounces

2014

Senate Bill 2636

  • Permits minors (under 18) to qualify for the same conditions outlined in the initial law

    2018

House Bill HB 4870 (AKA Ashley’s Law)

  • Allows caregivers to administer medical cannabis to registered minor patients on school property

Senate Bill 2023

  • The program exactly to become available as an opioid painkiller
  • Signed into law on August 12, 2019
  • Included 11 additional qualifying conditions
  • Liberalized restrictions on banking and cannabis

2019

Senate Bill 0455

  • Amends Ashley’s Law to allow school nurses/administrators to give medical cannabis products to registered minor patients. Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 455 expanding “Ashley’s Law”, which currently allows a parent, guardian or designated caregiver to administer medical marijuana to a student with a valid prescription on school grounds and on school buses.

Recreational cannabis:

2016

Senate Bill 2228

  • Possession for under 10 grams of cannabis was reduced to $100-$200

2019

Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

  • Signed on June 25, 2019
  • Recreational marijuana became legal on January 1, 2020
  • Medical cannabis patients can grow up to 5 plants at a time in their home or on their property – recreational cannabis users cannot grow marijuana

What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois?

The Illinois law lists the following medical conditions as qualifiers for a medical cannabis card:


How do I get certified for medical cannabis 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 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. The Illinois department of Public Health (IDPH) Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program can be found here.
    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 $199. 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.

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Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Illinois?

Yes, telemedicine is legal in Illinois and you can get certified for cannabis online.


How much cannabis can I possess in Illinois with an MMJ Card?

For medical card holders – 2.5 ounces
For recreational users – 1.05 ounces (30 grams)


For medical card holders – up to 5 plants in your house or on the property
For recreational users – not permitted


Does Illinois accept out-of-state cards?

Illinois does not have reciprocity. Therefore, the state does not recognize other states’ medical cannabis cards


Will my Illinois card be accepted in other states?

An Illinois medical marijuana card is recognized by some other states with reciprocity.

The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

  • Arizona
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Utah
  • Washington, D.C.

However, this does not always mean you can purchase cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary (non-medical adult use is fine) – just that you are protected by the state’s medical marijuana laws to some extent. It is wise to call the dispensary ahead if you are a medical cannabis patient from another state and you intend on purchasing medical marijuana.

The qualifying condition usually has to match between states, so if your qualifying condition is accepted in one state and not your visiting state, your recommendation is not necessarily valid. You are also beholden to the visiting state’s medical marijuana laws, not the state that issued your card.

The following states accept out-of-state applications, allowing a visiting patient application to use medical cannabis for the duration of their stay:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia (cancer patients only)

Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Illinois?

While the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act does not require employers to accommodate on-the-job use of medical marijuana, it does prohibit employers from “penalizing a person solely for his or her status as a registered qualifying patient” for medical marijuana in Illinois.

Those who are working with the vulnerable (e.g. children), those working in federal jobs, and those who are operating heavy machinery or vehicles as part of their employment may be tested and potentially terminated, especially if it can be proven that performance was impaired.


What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Illinois?

Contaminants that must be tested for under state law include “pesticide chemical residue” and “residue solvent” alongside microbiological contaminants and mycotoxins. There is no mention of heavy metals.


Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Illinois?

In all states with a medical marijuana program, the only way to purchase medicinal cannabis products is via a legally-licensed dispensary or pharmacy, or another legally designated space to purchase cannabis. Only those with a legal license to sell cannabis can actually do so.


Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Illinois?

All states with a medical marijuana program have some restrictions on where a person can legally use cannabis. Near schools, nurseries, parks or other places where children are expected to be, using cannabis is illegal. Use of cannabis on or in federal land or buildings, hospitals or any other such healthcare space is also illegal. Private members club and landowners may also prohibit cannabis use on their property or restrict it at their discretion.

The safest place to use medical cannabis is in the safety of your own home. It is wise to use common sense and generally keep consumption out of public view, and utilize discreet consumption methods wherever possible.