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Frequently Asked Questions -FAQ’s | The Medical Cannabis Community



Here are the most common questions we see come across our communities. This FAQ will be an evolving document that will be periodically updated to help the public stay apprised and informed about all things medical cannabis. To that effect, please feel free to contact us with any important questions you think we missed and we’ll be happy to add them!



Will I Lose My Gun Rights If I Obtain a Medical Cannabis Card

No. You will not lose any of your cards, or have firearms confiscated. You will not however, be able to purchase firearms at federal retail stores. More on the subject here.

How Do I Pass a Drug Test?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a guaranteed way to do this without ceasing consumption. Exercising, drinking lots of water, and taking supplements may help, but are never guaranteed. Some people may resort to synthetic solutions, but these are illegal and highly discouraged. For best results, cease consumption 30-45 days before having to test.

How Long Does It Take to Get My Cannabis Card?

It can take anywhere from 3 to 100 days depending on the state you live in. Click below for state specific information.


How Long Does It Take to Receive My Cannabis Card in Illinois?

Illinois: It takes about 60-90 days total from the time you apply. And when the state cashes your check, you are about 2 weeks out from getting it. Do note however, that the state cashing your check does not mean that you are guaranteed an application approval.

How Do I Follow Up On My Application With the State?

Once 30 days have passed since the submission of an application, patients can email the state at DPH.MedicalCannabis@Illinois.Gov to request an update. You can also call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 855-636-3688, although they may not immediately answer.

For email, just copy and paste the following message, and fill in your name and other information in parentheses.

“Subject Line: Status Inquiry for (insert patient and/or caregiver first and last name and date of birth)

Body of email to IDPH as follows:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am inquiring about the status of my application submitted on or around (insert date of application). I can be reached at (your email address and telephone number).

Patient Name (insert your name or name of patient you are inquiring about)”

How Much Can Cannabis Can I Purchase?

Patients in Illinois can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis products every 14 day period, starting from the first day of purchase.

How to Switch Dispensaries in Illinois?

Switching dispensaries simply requires you to fill out this form, and emailing it to DPH.ChangeDispensary@Illinois.Gov

Alternatively, you can fill out the form, and contact the dispensary you want to switch to for further assistance. Always be sure to call the dispensary you want to switch in advance to ensure they have what you need or are looking for, and to verify that you are registered in their system before visiting.

How to Change Application or Card Information

To change your name, address or other pertinent information on your card, download the application on the State website and submit the associated fees. Click HERE to view.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Caregiver Card?

If applying at the same time as the patient, the cards will be received almost in the range of 70-110 days it takes to process an application. If submitting after the patient as registered, it typically takes 3-4 weeks according to reports from patients in our communities.

You can download a caregiver application HERE.

When Will the Newly Passed Adult-Use Recreational Cannabis Laws Go Into Effect?

Legal cannabis sales are expected to begin on January 1st of the New Year in Illinois. Poised to become the second largest market in the country, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act legally permit the sale and consumption of cannabis by anyone 21 years or older in private homes and businesses.

What Happened to the Word “Pilot” in IL’s Medical Cannabis Program?

We are glad you asked! The state of IL recently passed a bill making the medical cannabis program a permanent fixture of the states healthcare system and legislation. As such, the word “pilot” has been removed, as the program is no longer operating under a sunset clause and has been approved to stay for good!

Will I Be Legally Allowed to Home Grow?

You are legally allowed to grow your own medicine (up to 5 plants) at home with your medical cannabis card. It is well known that the issue of home growing cannabis for personal use was a contentious one when trying to get this bill passed. Luckily, medical cannabis patients are legally allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants at home for personal use without fear of prosecution

Will the Medical Cannabis Program in IL Have Different THC Limits Than the Adult Use Recreational Market?

Yes. While the adult-use rec program will have THC limits set by a state agency, the THC in medical cannabis will continue to be driven by medical need rather than government limits.

Will it be Cheaper for Medical Cannabis Patients to Purchase Their Medicine than the Adult Use Recreational Market?

Technically, yes, medical patients will pay less overall due to lower taxes on their medicine. The difference is estimated to be 30 percent or more in the cost of the same product between the medical and rec sides of the same dispensary. In the rec program, higher THC content will be taxed at a greater rate. The same is not true for medical patients registered with the state.

Will Consuming CBD Products Cause Me To Fail a Drug Test?

This really depends on the type of CBD product you use and how you consume it. Most CBD products in the market today fall under three primary categories: isolate (CBD only), broad-spectrum (all cannabinoids except THC), full-spectrum (may include THC). When you consume a CBD-only, or isolate, product, you shouldn’t worry about failing a drug test because most drug tests measure levels of THC-COOH. Some drug screenings also test for active THC. Both are absent in properly produced CBD isolate products. To read more about CBD and Drug Testing, see more at the ChicagoReader here!

How Can I Ensure CBD Isolate and Broad-Spectrum Products are THC Free?

When you’re buying CBD isolate products, check the maker’s website to verify that independent testing has been done in a third-party lab to ensure they’re free of THC, as well as heavy metals and other toxins. THC has been removed from broad-spectrum products, and you should technically be in the clear with these.

What Is the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program?

The pilot program will allow patients that receive or are qualified to receive opioid prescriptions access to medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription opioid medications such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.

Does IDPH Still Require Background Checks & Fingerprinting for Prospective Patients?

The alternative to opioids act removed significant pre-existing barriers to prospective medical cannabis patients. Most notably, fingerprinting and criminal background checks are no longer required by the state of IL for patients looking to obtain their medical cannabis cards.


How Long Does It Take to Receive My Cannabis Card in Maryland?

Maryland This state processes applications much faster. Patients can expect to receive their cards in as little as 2 weeks.


How Long Does It Take to Receive My Cannabis Card in New York?

Upon successful registration with the online system, your card should arrive in the mail within 7 business days.

How Much Can Cannabis Can I Purchase?

Registered Organizations may dispense up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana to a certified patient or designated caregiver, pursuant to any recommendations or limitations made by the practitioner on the certification. Registered Organizations report their medical marijuana dispensing to the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database, so that prescribers may review their patients’ controlled substance histories and make informed treatment decisions.


How Long Does It Take to Receive My Cannabis Card in Pennsylvania?

Residents of Pennsylvania can obtain a medical cannabis card in as little as 3 days.