Medical cannabis FAQs
Following are answers to common questions of Illinois cannabis patients and caregivers, including information about how to register with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP).
What are the qualifying medical conditions for the State of Illinois?
Debilitating conditions that currently qualify for medical cannabis use in Illinois are:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Anorexia nervosa
- Arnold-Chiari malformation
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Fibrous Dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- Interstitial cystitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
- Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Residual limb pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
- Severe fibromyalgia
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
- Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Spinocerebellar ataxia
- Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
- Tarlov cysts
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
- Any other debilitating medical condition or its treatment that is added by the Illinois Department of Public Health
If I have one of the above debilitating medical conditions, do I automatically qualify for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program?
No. To become a medical cannabis patient in Illinois, you must apply for a Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Identification Card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Eligibility requires that you:
- Are a current resident of Illinois
- Remain as an Illinois resident while participating in the program
- Have a qualifying medical condition (listed above)
- Have a certification electronically submitted by a health care professional for the use of medical cannabis (Veterans do not need to be certified by a registered ICTS health care professional if the following are met: currently receive continuing health care at a federal VA facility; provide medical records from the VA facility about treatment for their qualifying debilitating medical condition for the last year)
- Not hold a school bus permit or commercial driver's license
- Not be an active-duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer or firefighter
Where do I, as a patient, apply for a Medical Cannabis Patient Registration Identification Card?
To create an account and register, visit the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System at https://etk.icts.illinois.gov.
How long does it take to receive my Medical Cannabis Registry Card?
Patients applying online for a Medical Cannabis Registry Card receive provisional access to a licensed dispensary within 24 hours of completion.
What is the process of becoming a MCPP caregiver?
Patients may designate up to 3 caregivers within the MCPP application. To add a caregiver, select the tab named MCPP Patient Caregiver and click on + New. Complete all required fields and upload required documents for the caregiver. Review the information to verify it is correct and click save. Repeat for each caregiver added. Once all caregivers are added, click save and continue to complete the application.
Can a minor become a patient in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program?
Yes, qualifying patients under 18 who have one or more of the debilitating medical conditions listed for the State of Illinois may be registered in the program by assigning their parent or legal guardian as their selected caregiver. There can be up to three caregivers chosen.
How much cannabis may I possess as a MCPP patient?
The Illinois Medical Cannabis program allows for registered qualifying patients and their caregivers to possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of cannabis during a period of 14 days. If needed, medical patients can consult with their doctor for guidance to possess more cannabis.
Does the state of Illinois honor out-of-state medical registries?
No, there are currently no reciprocity agreements in place with other states.
Does state law protect me from Federal cannabis laws?
No. Possession and distribution of cannabis by any person remains a criminal offense under Federal Law.
Does health insurance cover the costs of medical cannabis?
No insurance companies in Illinois currently cover the cost of medical cannabis for patients.
Where can I use medical cannabis in Illinois?
Use of medical cannabis is prohibited in the following places:
- Within a school bus
- On the grounds of any school (preschool, primary or secondary)
- On the grounds of any correctional facility
- Inside any motor vehicle
- Inside a private residence, which, at any time, provides licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises
- Any place that prohibits smoking (including healthcare facilities) under the Smoke-free Illinois Act and knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 18
Any public place
A public place includes all parts of buildings owned (wholly or in part) or leased by the state or local unit of government, or any place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others.
A public place does not include a private residence (unless property is used to provide licensed childcare, foster care or other similar social service care on the premises).
Can I grow my own cannabis in Illinois?
Registered Illinois patients are allowed to cultivate up to five plants in a an enclosed, secured area, not visible to the public.
Does the state of Illinois allow the purchase of medical cannabis for friends?
No, it may only be purchased by medical patients and their caregivers solely for the use of the registered Illinois patient.