How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Chicago Illinois?
How To Get A Medical Cannabis Card In Chicago Illinois?
Article reviewed by James Samuel, MD.
As one of now 36 states to have legalized medical marijuana, the Illinois cannabis program allows qualified patients to access and buy their medicine. Medical marijuana patients in Chicago must first get a card that proves their medical needs.
The benefits of becoming a medical cannabis patient in Illinois include the right to grow your own cannabis at home, priority purchases during cannabis shortages, and elimination of the 34.75% tax charged to adult-use consumers.
These advantages have led many to wonder: “how to get a medical marijuana card in Chicago?”
Acquiring a medical cannabis card in the state of Illinois includes the following requirements:
- Must be 18 years or older (minors need two physician recommendations as well as consent from their legal guardian)
- Illinois state resident with proof of residency
- Diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition
- Have certification from a physician
To learn more about obtaining your medical card in Chicago, IL, check out this simple guide, or schedule an appointment if you are ready to find relief.
Where To Get My Medical Card in Chicago?
Patients have the option of navigating the registration process through the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website.
However, if you prefer to avoid the bureaucracy and paperwork involved – the team at Compassionate Clinics of America is happy to handle everything for you.
In 2013, Illinois became the 20th state to approve medical cannabis.
Illinois has 60 licensed dispensaries and 21 cultivation centers. These businesses produce and distribute medical marijuana in the state. The program has been extended through at least 2020.
An Illinois medical marijuana card allows medical marijuana patients in Chicago and the entire state of Illinois to get their medicine legally.
Having a medical marijuana card doesn’t mean you can go out and start stockpiling medicine, although the limits on patients are very fair overall. Qualified patients can buy two-and-a-half-ounces of marijuana every two weeks. This limit can be increased with a doctor’s note testifying that the sale limit is not enough for the patient’s medical needs.
Dispensaries sell approved marijuana products like edibles and concentrates to approved patients in the Illinois medical cannabis program. Cultivation centers, meanwhile, are responsible for all aspects of marijuana production. This also includes labeling and packaging.
Medical Marijuana Products Available for Patients in Chicago, Illinois
Under Illinois’ medical marijuana program, patients can buy an impressive variety of products. This allows you to buy medicine that suits your individual needs. Dried cannabis flower remains a popular choice for many patients. You can smoke or vaporize cannabis flower – or use it to create your own edibles.
Recently, e-liquids and concentrates have also become a sought-after way to administer cannabis.
It is important to note that when buying concentrates or edible products, the weight of the marijuana flower pre-production is factored into your allowance.
Often times, patients must experiment with different products, strains, and dosage levels to find what works best for them. A lot of emphasis is placed on THC versus CBD. These are two of the major cannabinoids found in cannabis, each with different medical properties.
Many marijuana patients use THC-rich products to deal with pain, muscle spasms, and nausea. And others have reported that CBD is helpful for migraines, seizures, anxiety, and even mental disorders.
While a lot of patients prefer to start with CBD products to avoid to the cannabis high, THC and CBD are usually most effective together.
Patients will also want to consider terpene profiles when searching for the cultivars (or strains) that work best for them. Terpenes are essentially the plant compounds that make up a cannabis strain’s distinct smell and taste. Specific terpenes can also affect how a cannabis sample makes you feel (i.e., relaxed, sleepy, energetic, focused, anxious, etc.). If the dispensary ever runs out of your favorite strain, you can always select a backup based on similar terpene profiles.
You can find all of the necessary information either on the product labeling or via the certificate of analysis, which your dispensary should be able to provide to you upon request.
The other thing to factor in when seeking maximum benefits from cannabis is dosage. Too much of a cannabis product can create the opposite effect from what you desire. Although it is important to experiment with different dosage levels, it is best to start with very small amounts and gradually increase over a period of hours, or even days if you’re consuming edible cannabis.
If you do have an undesirable experience, no need to panic. Cannabis is a very forgivable medicine. Try to relax and distract yourself until the effects dissipate. If you’ve consumed too much of an edible, this could take several hours. And please know, that if you take less cannabis the next time, you will likely have a much better experience.
Dispensary agents or budtenders can help guide you through all these aspects, especially because they receive so much feedback from their customers. Although it is important to remember that dispensary staff are usually sales reps and not medical professionals.
If you’re looking for professional guidance with your medical cannabis regimen after you get your medical marijuana card, the team Compassionate Clinics of America is here to support you every step of the way.
Qualifying Conditions and Legal Requirements
Several medical conditions would qualify you to apply for an Illinois medical marijuana card. Chronic pain, migraines, autism, Lou Gehrig’s disease, cancer, lupus, and terminal cases are a few examples. Others include Crohn’s disease, chronic limb pain, HIV/AIDS, and even Tourette’s.
To get a medical card, you will also have to be diagnosed by a doctor and provide medical records to prove your condition qualifies. Our physicians can certify that you qualify to receive a medical card online or at any of our clinic locations.
Since the program’s creation in 2013 and 2014 rollout, over 143,000 patients have been able to buy marijuana products. Former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner did little to expand the reach of the state’s medical-marijuana program. However, he did make sure the program will run until 2020. Since then – the state’s program has become permanent.
A recent initiative, called the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program, has reduced the number of hurdles you will face. Fingerprinting requirements for caregivers and patients have been suspended since August 28, 2018 and are no longer required.
How to Apply for a Patient or Caregiver Card in Chicago
Please note, that whatever your desire might be, we can help you through this process.
To get a medical marijuana card in Chicago, Illinois, you need to get a copy of the application or file one online. You will also have to decide whether to choose a caregiver, but know that you are not required to do so.
If you do decide to have a caregiver, be aware that they will have to meet the legal requirements to qualify as well. Caregivers for terminal patients must make separate arrangements as indicated on the application form.
These requirements state that they cannot have any felony convictions for a violent crime or drug charges. They must also be your sole caregiver, be at least twenty-one years old and fill out a separate application form.
To fill out the medical marijuana card application, you will need several documents. These include your driver’s license, social security information, and your main living address. You will also need to include a clear photograph of yourself, but you must be looking at the camera and make no facial expression.
A copy of your driver’s license or passport and proof of Illinois residency must also be submitted. This can include utility bills, property titles, tax documents, pay stubs, and voter registration.
You will also have to pay between $100 to $250. This depends on whether you want a one to three-year medical marijuana card.
Once you begin the application process, you will have to complete it within 90 days.
Applying online allows you to get a temporary receipt that allows you to go to a dispensary and receive medication.
Getting the Care You Deserve
Are you still wondering where to get my medical card in Illinois? Check out Compassionate Clinics of America’s locations to get certified via telemedicine and find relief today!