It has been almost seven years since Illinois approved the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, allowing patients with one of 52+ qualifying conditions to register with the state to obtain cannabis for medical use. Illinois was the 20th state to authorize a legal, medical cannabis program. As of June 2021, there are now 36 states that have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The Illinois Medical Cannabis Program is thriving, and as of August 2021, there are 161,059 registered medical cannabis patients in Illinois, spending nearly $400m in 2021.
You can view the full report here.
Changes to the program
- Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Governor implemented an emergency procedure in March 2020 to renew Medical Cannabis cards for one year free of cost for those patients whose cards were set to expire between March 20th-September 30th, 2020. This was extended through July 30th, 2021.
- In June, the new Illinois Cannabis Tracking System went live, and was immediately met with many issues. As of August 17th, 2021, there are 300 defects in the system that are currently being addressed.
- The major upside to this upgrade is the ability to visit any medical dispensary, removing the requirement of having to register and change dispensaries.
- Some of the most notable updates for June include allowing for
- A “Lifelong Conditions” option allows patients to be certified once and never need to recertify. Lifelong conditions patients also pay a reduced fee of $50 every three years.
- A reduction in the application fees by 50%: means that applicants 65 or older are eligible for reduced fees along with veterans and those receiving disability.
- Adult and Minor applicants can now have three caregivers. Caregivers can only be assigned to one patient.
- The ability to change your information and print your card right from the patient portal has been added.
- The new ICTS system streamlines the patient and caregiver application process and brings a significant upgrade for the certifying physicians, simplifying the process and bringing that process online. If you find that you are having issues navigating the new Entellitrak patient portal, you can reach assistance from the Illinois Department of Public Health by contacting them at 855-636-3688; they are available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm CST.
Top 5 Dispensaries by patient count:
The Illinois MCPP Numbers:
To see the full report, click here.