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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois

To shop medical cannabis menus in Illinois, you need a medical cannabis card. But don’t worry: the application process is easy. Here’s how it works.

To qualify for a medical cannabis card in Illinois you need to:

  • Be 18 years or older or have parental consent

  • Be a resident of Illinois with a valid state ID

  • Have a qualifying condition (see below)

  • Obtain written certification from a qualified physician

What are the qualifying conditions?

  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndromes Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Behcet’s autoimmune disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) complex regional pain syndromes Type I
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid
  • Arthritis (RA)
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease: including but not limited to arachnoiditis
  • Spinal cord injury, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-concussion syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome

How do I get certified by a physician?

Book an appointment with your doctor and ask if medical cannabis may be right for you. If they diagnose you with a qualifying condition, they can provide written certification. Need help finding a physician? Ask us how.

  • A scanned copy of your physician’s certification form
  • A photocopy of your valid state ID
  • 2 Proofs of residency
    Bank statement
    Govt. documents
    Must include full name and current address
  • A non-refundable application fee to the state
    1 year – $100 + Caregiver $125
    2 year – $200 + Caregiver $225
    3 year – $250 + Caregiver $275
    Note – reduced application fees apply to those with SSDI & veterans

What you need to apply online:

  • Gather all items listed above and log onto https://medicalcannabispatients.illinois.gov/ to register and begin your application.
  • Once submitted, your temporary “provisional card” will arrive in your email by the next day.
  • This temporary card, along with your DL/State ID, can be used to purchase medical cannabis.

The Illinois Department of Health is available to answer questions about your Illinois Medical Cannabis Card.

Phone: 855-636-3688

Email: DPH.MedicalCannabis@Illinois.gov 

Need more help? Check out our detailed guide here.


Medical Cannabis in Illinois FAQ [2023]

Yes, marijuana is legal in Illinois both recreationally and for medical use. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2013 under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Recreational marijuana use was legalized on May 31, 2019, with the passing of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, and recreational sales began in January 2020.

To purchase medical marijuana in Illinois, you must first obtain a registry identification card from the Department of Public Health. This requires you to have a written certification from a physician stating that you have a qualifying debilitating condition.

The cost of medical marijuana in Illinois varies depending on the specific product and the dispensary.

To get a prescription for medical marijuana in Illinois, you need to have a physician assess your medical condition and whether you qualify. The physician will then provide a written certification, which you submit as part of your application to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois does not have reciprocity for out-of-state medical marijuana cards. This means that if you have a medical marijuana card from another state, it cannot be used to purchase medical marijuana in Illinois.


However, some states do offer reciprocity for Illinois medical card holders. Always check with the current regulations, as laws are subject to change.

If it has been less than three years you may extend your card online. If it has been longer than three years since your physician completed your certification paperwork you will need to renew your card. To renew your Illinois Medical Marijuana Card, you need to reapply through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). This process typically involves the following steps:


  • Visit your physician to receive a new written certification of your qualifying condition.
  • Complete the renewal application form on the IDPH’s website. You will need to update your personal information and the details of your new physician certification.
  • Pay the renewal fee.


To avoid a lapse in your ability to access medical cannabis, you should begin the renewal process at least 45-90 days before your current card.

In Illinois, a medical marijuana patient may visit multiple dispensaries in a single day. However, patients must be aware of and adhere to purchase and possession limits for the state. In addition, all purchases are tracked in a statewide database to prevent exceeding state limits. Always verify the most recent rules and regulations for the state, as they are subject to change.

  • Illinois residents who are 21 years or older can legally possess up to 30 grams (1.05 ounces) of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.
  • Non-residents who are 21 years or older can possess up to 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 250 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.
  • Medical Cannabis Program patients may purchase up to 70.87 grams (2.5 ounces) of marijuana during a 14-day period.

No, you may not travel across state lines with cannabis or cannabis products. It is against federal law.

No, it is illegal to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while using or under the influence of cannabis in violation of Sections 11-501 and 11-502.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code

The use of medical marijuana in public places is generally not allowed in Illinois. However, medical marijuana may be used in one’s own residence or in private places. Specific rules may vary, so it’s important to check local laws and regulations before consuming cannabis.

For recreational users, you must show a valid government-issued ID proving that you are 21 or over.


Accepted forms of ID include:

  • State ID
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport


In addition to a government-issued ID, medical patients will need a valid permanent (or provisional) card to get access to the medical menu.