What if the best treatment for your illness was just a few clicks away? When it comes to things like pain management, cannabis is safe and effective. In fact, one survey found that 80% of patients thought Cannabis was more effective than opioids for their pain, and a whopping 92% thought the side effects of cannabis were less debilitating.
If you live in Illinois, you may be able to qualify for medical marijuana. This will let you safely and legally use cannabis to help with a variety of ailments.
Wondering how Medical Marijuana in Illinois actually works? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know!
Medical Marijuana Illinois: A Brief History
Medical marijuana in Illinois has not always been legal. Back in 1931, the state’s General Assembly forbid any kind of growing or selling of marijuana. And while the state passed the Medical Cannabis Control Act in 1978, it would be many years before anyone could actually buy or sell medical cannabis.
Finally, in 2013, the state passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. And in 2014, it was finally possible to obtain medical marijuana.
How can you obtain your own supply, though? Here is all of the info you need to know.
Getting a Medical Marijuana Card: The Basics
A medical marijuana card has a few very basic requirements. For example, you need to be at least 18 years old or, if you’re a minor, have an adult caregiver (more on this later).
You must also be a legal resident of Illinois. Most importantly, you need a certified medical diagnosis showing that you have a qualifying condition. These conditions are spelled out by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
What Are the Qualifying Conditions?
The state maintains a growing list of qualifying conditions to obtain a medical marijuana card. The list includes things like chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s disease, migraines, and multiple sclerosis.
While there are many conditions that may help you qualify for a medical cannabis card, the most important thing is that you get a professional medical diagnosis certifying that you have the condition.
It is possible to do so through your existing doctor, although some doctors take a dim view of medical cannabis. You can also seek out more cannabis-friendly doctors who may offer special insight into how you can qualify for a medical marijuana card.
How Do You Qualify For a Medical Marijuana Card?
Once you have a doctor willing to certify your qualifying condition, you must obtain a patient certificate from them. Afterward, you must complete the online application and pay the fees (which can range from $25 to $300). After this, you’ll receive a provisional letter and, eventually, an official card that allows you to purchase medical cannabis.
The good news is that you can buy medical cannabis through a legal dispensary as soon as you receive your provisional letter. And this letter is good for up to 90 days, so you don’t have to sit around and wait for the card to arrive before making a purchase.
What Is Legal To Buy?
Once your application is approved, you will be able to buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every two weeks. These 2.5 ounces may come from any combination of concentrates, drinks, cannabis flower, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and oils.
After you buy the medical cannabis, you are allowed to transport the weed inside of a secured container. At this point, the most important thing to remember is that you cannot consume cannabis in public!
That means you cannot partake in your vehicle or anywhere else in public. For maximum safety, we recommend you consume medical cannabis only in the safety of your own home.
What Is Still Illegal?
Public consumption of medical cannabis remains illegal, including vaping it. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces at a time may result in imprisonment and fines. You are also forbidden from growing your own cannabis even after you get your medical marijuana card.
If you are caught with more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, your punishment may depend on how much you have. If the state thinks you are trying to sell the marijuana, possessing anywhere between 2.5 to 10 ounces may result in six months in prison and a $1,500 fine. Meanwhile, sales of 5,000 grams or more may result in up to 60 years in prison and a $200,000 fine!
The Role of Caregivers
Earlier, we mentioned how minors could get a medical cannabis card so long as they had a caregiver. But who are these caregivers, and what role do they play?
Caregivers are charged with serving one qualified patient. These caregivers must be 21+, legal residents of Illinois, and pay a small fee.
Most of the time, a caregiver is a family member or somebody’s very close friend. Such a person may already be helping out a sick patient in a number of ways. And once they become a designated caregiver, they are legally allowed to purchase medical cannabis on the part of the person they are caring for.
Preparation Saves Time
When it comes to getting medical cannabis in Illinois, it’s important to remember one word: preparation. A little preparation now can save you a lot of time (and quite a few headaches) later!
It all starts with getting a patient certificate about your qualifying condition. Begin talking to your doctor now (or find a different doctor as needed) to make sure you get the certificate you need.
After you apply, you should research nearby dispensaries and explore what options you have. Currently, medical marijuana cannot be delivered to your home, so it’s important to find a nearby dispensary you can trust. Now is also a good time to begin researching different marijuana strains.
And if you think you will have trouble physically accessing the dispensary, you should consult with a family member about becoming your designated caregiver.
By taking these few steps now, you can make the most of things once your medical marijuana card arrives.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
When you want medical marijuana in Illinois, the last thing you want to do is wait. But what if you could get your card quicker than you ever imagined?
We specialize in helping people just like you get the card they need to improve their lives. This includes helping with everything from the application to the patient certificate.
To see the difference we can make in your own life, just contact us today!