Illinois was the twentieth state to legalize medical marijuana on January 1, 2014.
Known as The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, this program is still in a pilot stage and was recently extended until at least July 2020. The goal of the program is to provide qualifying patients with safe access to medical cannabis.
Qualifying patients are able to possess an “adequate supply” of medical marijuana. An adequate supply refers to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis. However, patients may apply for a waiver to possess more than the 2.5-ounce limit based on the treatment required for their debilitating medical condition(s).
In order to purchase medical marijuana, a qualifying patient must register and possess a valid registry identification card by the Department of Public Health.
Qualifying patients are allowed to purchase an “adequate supply” of medical marijuana. The standard measurement of an adequate supply is 2.5 ounces every 14 days. A patient may apply for a waiver to purchase more than 2.5 ounces if a physician provides a signed, written statement confirming that 2.5 ounces is insufficient as an adequate supply to alleviate a debilitating medical condition.
When purchasing concentrates, edibles or other marijuana products that are not flower, the pre-weight of the marijuana flower used to make the product is added towards the purchase limit.
Under Illinois law, a qualifying patient is a person diagnosed by a licensed physician as having a debilitating medical condition. Current accepted debilitating medical conditions are listed as follows:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Arnold-Chiari Malformation
- Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Fibrous Dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Nail-Patella Syndrome
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Residual Limb Pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Severe Fibromyalgia
- Sjorgen’s Syndrome
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia
- Tarlov Cysts
- Terminal Illness (< 6 months)
- Traumatic Brain Injury
For more information on how to get your medical marijuana card in Illinois, click here.
Only qualifying patients with a valid registry identification card are able to consume medical cannabis. It is still illegal for any person who is not a qualifying patient to consume cannabis.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and strictly prohibited. Those caught behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana face steep charges in the same fashion of an alcohol DUI. In addition to driving a motor vehicle under the influence of cannabis, it is also illegal to operate an aircraft, motorboat or any other motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.
It is illegal to transport medical marijuana in car unless it is in a secured, sealed and tamper-evident container that is inaccessible while the vehicle is moving. The vehicle must also be private and not open to the public. Under no circumstance is it legal for a driver or passenger to consume medical cannabis inside of a vehicle.
It is illegal to export marijuana from Illinois and those who are caught doing face severe penalties. It is not worth the risk, so be sure to only consume medical cannabis lawfully and never export it over state lines.
Currently, it is illegal for qualifying patients and caregivers to cultivate marijuana products. Only licensed facilities are allowed to cultivate medical marijuana.