How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois

Use this guide to quickly navigate the program and find out the steps you need to take in order to enroll. For official information, visit the state’s website for specific details and requirements. Always speak with your healthcare professionals first. With telemedicine available in Illinois as a result of COVID-19, you can get certified by one of our partners, at Compassionate Clinics of America.  Or, you can also view our network of doctors.


Find Out if You Qualify

Benefits of medical cannabis status: only 1% tax on purchases, preferential inventory, and patients may grow up to 5 plants at home.
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Autism
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic Pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuro Behcet’s
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Opioid Dependency
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • 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 Dihiscence Syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Need a Cannabis Friendly Doctor? View our Directory of Local Partners who can help you obtain a medical certification.

Choose The Correct Application & Program

In Illinois, patients may obtain safe and legal access to medical cannabis through a number of different programs and applications.

For starters, there is the main program and application process for standard residents who have qualifying conditions.

There is a separate process however, for 

– Veterans

– Minors & Caregivers

– Those who qualify under the Opioid Program

– Those who are Terminally Ill


*Each application / program will have different requirements.


Standard Applications

Residents of Illinois who have one of the qualifying conditions, and are interested in a card for any period of 1 to 3 years should consider filling out this type of application.

Minors & Caregivers

Minors are not able to apply for the program without the approval and submission by a registered legal guardian over the age of 21. Adult patients may also have a caregiver, pending application completion.

Veteran Applications

Veterans receiving medical care at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facility

Veterans receiving their health care at a VA facility who wish to apply for the Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) do not need to provide a physician written certification, but must provide medical records from the VA facility for the last 12 months. IDPH will review the medical records to verify the veteran has a qualifying medical condition and has received continuous medical care at the VA facility during the previous 12 months.

IDPH requires 12 months of medical records to verify you are in ongoing treatment at a VA facility. This requirement ensures veterans receiving care at a VA facility do not need to submit a physician certification like non-veterans must do.

To obtain VA medical records electronically:

  • Go online to
  • Once you receive your official medical records, you must submit the medical records with your application. Scan your records and upload the .pdf document with your on-line application.
  • Veterans who are NOT receiving continuous medical care through a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility must obtain a physician certification from their community physician.
  • Veterans who have an honorable or general discharge and are eligible for VA services and benefits, are eligible for a reduced application fee for the Medical Cannabis Patient Program. The veteran must submit a copy of their DD-214 (showing dates of service and other than dishonorable) with their application. For fee information, click here.

Opioid Alternative Pilot Program

Qualifying patients for OAPP must be at least 21 years old and be a resident of Illinois.

Licensed physicians must certify the qualifying patients has a medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed based on generally accepted standards of care.

Patient must have or be qualified for an opioid prescription (Vicodin, hydrocodone, oxycontin, etc.)

Registered patients are eligible to purchase 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every 14 days.

Physician certifications are valid for 90 days but can be renewed to allow patients to continue accessing medical cannabis.

A $10 fee is required for each 90-day registration period.


  • Provisional letter available within an hour later via portal (card arrives by mail)
  • Repeat process to continue access

Provisional letter and a state issued photo ID are required to purchase medical cannabis at designated dispensary.

Terminal Illness

  • For patients with less than 6 months of life expectancy.
  • No state fee for patient and caregiver
  • Physician, patient and caregiver complete this form: Terminal Illness Application:


 Create online account here.

  • Next day, provisional letter @ portal. Only for online application submission (card arrives by mail)
  • Provisional letter and a state issued photo ID are

required to purchase medical cannabis at designated dispensary.

Access expires in 6 mo. Free extension for an additional 6 mo. by notifying state at [email protected] must include the patient’s name, date of birth and cannabis card #.

Complete Your Forms


Required Documents List for Patient and Caregiver (optional):

  • Illinois Driver’s License, State ID or Passport
  • Proof of Residency**
  • Completed Physician Written Certification Form or Digital VA Health Records

If applicable:

  • Reviewing Physician Written Certification form (Minors)
  • Benefit verification Letter or Statement of Current Benefits (SSDI)
  • DD214
  • Caregiver Attestation

**Proof of residence: If your Illinois Driver’s License, Temporary Visitor Driver’s License or State ID address matches your application, submit one additional proof of residency. Proof of residency must include name and address and match the address on the application. If you submit a US Passport as your proof of identity or your Driver’s License or State ID address does not match the address on your application, submit two of the following:

  • Medical claim or statement of benefits (from a hospital or health clinic, private insurance company or public (government) agency, dated less than 12 months prior to application) 
  • Utility bill, including, but not limited to, those for electric, water, refuse, telephone land-line, cellular phone, cable or gas, issued less than 60 days prior to application 
  • Pay stub or electronic deposit receipt, issued less than 60 days prior to the application date, that shows evidence of withholding for State income tax 
  • Tuition invoice/official mail from college or university, dated less than the 12 months prior to application 
  • Insurance policy (current coverage for automobile, homeowner’s, health or medical, or renter’s)
  • Bank statement (dated less than 90 days prior to application)
  • Credit card statement (dated less than 60 days prior to application)
  • Deed/title, mortgage or rental/lease agreement; property tax bill
  • Valid voter registration card with an address in Illinois 
  • W-2 from the most recent tax year
  • Current military identification card 


Your primary care physician will be the best person to certify your condition for your application. If your physician is unwilling to certify, you have the right to find a new physician. Applications are valid for 90 days from the date of the in-person examination. From there, you will submit your application, and the physician certification form together.


Final Steps

Prepare documents for online application submission:

Take clear photos of all documents and a “selfie” for the passport type picture: head and neck only against a plain background, clear w/ no shadows or face obstructions.

Send photos to yourself via email. Download those files onto your computer and select each when prompted.

Convert completed terminal application form into a .pdf Simplify by using Tiny Scanner app on your cell phone.

At the end of the application submission process, provide a credit card # to pay the state fee.

Now that you’re ready,


With thousands of members joining across multiple states, join our communities and network with likeminded people who are just as curious and passionate about cannabis as you are. There are topics on just about everything related to cannabis. See you there!


Now that you’re on your way toward your cannabis journey, you might be interested in learning new recipes, how to grow cannabis, where to find seeds, and so much more. Get started here!


Buttons, Mugs, T-Shirts, Sweaters, oh my! There are lots of amazing things you can find when you explore our cannabis community inspired gear. With hundreds of frequently uploaded options and designs, there’s something for everybody. Discover something new today!


If you already have your card and just need to renew. The Illinois Department of Public Health will send you a notice before your card expires. You can also find information here or log into their online portal to renew.

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