How To Get Your Medical Cannabis Card
Becoming an Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient
A step-by-step guide for prospective patients
You will need to first schedule a consultation with your healthcare professional (MD, DO, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant) to discuss the use of medical cannabis to treat your condition. You must have one of the qualifying conditions to be eligible.
- What if my condition is terminal? See Terminal Illness section below.
- What if I am under 18 years of age? See Minors section below.
- What if I am 18-20 years of age? See Adults Ages 18-20 section below.
- What if I am a veteran? See Veterans section below.
If you do not fall into any of the categories above, download and print the Health Care Professional Written Certification Form and take with you to your appointment. Your healthcare professional will want to print as clearly as possible and sign the form. They will then give you the completed form so that you can submit it along with the other necessary application documents. We do have copies of the form here at dispensary if you wish to stop by and pick one up.
Qualifying patients may apply for a one, two, or three-year registry identification card. They cost $100, $200 and $250 respectively. This application fee is non-refundable and must be paid using a debit/credit card or prepaid card. The State of Illinois does impose an additional 2.25% surcharge on the application fee when submitted online, so if you choose to use a prepaid card, we do suggest having an additional amount loaded onto it to cover said surcharge as well.
Persons who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or are veterans may be eligible for a reduced application fee of half these amounts. A benefit verification letter from the Social Security Administration or a veteran DD214 (with an honorable discharge designation) needs to be supplied during the application process to qualify for the reduced application fee.
We strongly recommend either coordinating with a vendor (Walgreens, Walmart, etc.) or better yet, having us at the dispensary take the photo for you to ensure the photo is compliant. To be an acceptable photo, it must have been:
- Taken in the last 30 days
- Taken against a plain, white or off-white background or backdrop
- In natural color (Do not use a filter)
- Full-face view directly facing the camera with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Not wearing a hat, glasses or anything that covers the face
- At least 2 inches by 2 inches in size
To submit along with your application online, you will want to have the photo scanned in. We are more than willing to do this for you here at the Herbal Remedies Dispensary as well.
To prove your age and identity, a color scan of your valid, unexpired state issued ID, drivers’ license OR the photo page of your passport are needed to confirm that criteria. All these documents can be scanned in and submitted electronically with your submitted application.
You will need to submit one proof of residency if your driver’s license or state issued ID address matches the address on your medical cannabis application. Here is a full list of the acceptable documents that qualify as proof of residency:
- 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)
- Valid voter registration card with an address in Illinois
- Current military identification card
- Bank statement (dated less than 90 days prior to application) or credit card statement (dated less than 60 days prior to application)
- Deed/title, mortgage or rental/lease agreement; property tax bill
- Insurance policy (current coverage for automobile, homeowner’s, health or medical, or renter’s)
- 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)
- Tuition invoice/official mail from college or university (dated less than the 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)
- W-2 from the most recent tax year
If you submit a US Passport as your proof of identity or your driver’s license or state issued ID address does not match the address on your medical cannabis application, you must submit two of the documents listed above.
When you have all the necessary documents together, your final step is to submit your application for review. You can do this in one of two ways, via the online application (link below) or by bringing the documents to Herbal Remedies Dispensary for us to assist you in submission of your application. If you choose to have us assist you with the submission of your application, we do ask that you call (217) 214-6337 to schedule an appointment beforehand.
Carefully complete every field on the online application, select Herbal Remedies Dispensary as your dispensary of choice, and provide your electronic signature.
Medical Cannabis Patient Program Provisional Access Letter
Unfortunately, it can take as long as 90 days to receive your medical cannabis card in the mail. However, that doesn’t mean that you must do without your medicine until then. For patients and caregivers that choose to submit their applications online, you can receive a provisional access letter via email usually within 24-48 hours. This provisional registration access letter is temporary and is only valid for 90 days. You can download and print your letter and bring it with you to Herbal Remedies Dispensary.
If you do not have access to a printer, we would also be happy to print your provisional access card here at the dispensary on your behalf. We ask that you make an appointment for the first visit and can do so by calling us at (217) 214-6337. You must bring this provisional access card and an Illinois driver’s license, or state issued ID with you when you come to the dispensary to be able to make a purchase.
Do you need a caregiver?
To assist their loved one in the purchasing and administering of medical cannabis, qualified patients can designate an individual to serve as their caregiver. The caregiver must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of Illinois, and serve only one registered qualifying patient. They can either be registered at the same time as the patient or at a later date if they wish. However, we do highly recommend that caregivers consider registering simultaneously with the patient they are serving as there is a bit of cost savings in doing so and registry card expiration dates will align with one another. Caregivers must follow the same steps as mandated for patients to obtain their medical cannabis card except for the physician certification portion. Caregivers can apply for one-year cards costing $25, two-year cards for $50 or three-year cards for $75 during the initial application process with the patient. The addition of a caregiver at a later date will cost $75.
Wishing to be added as a caregiver for an existing Illinois medical cannabis patient? Download the Designated Caregiver Registry Identification Card application below and follow the included instructions.
People who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less have the option to apply for a medical cannabis registry card. These individuals are not subject to paying an application fee and the card they will be issued is only valid for a six–month duration. Be aware that there are different applications for veterans and caregivers when applying under the terminal illness category. To get qualifying patients the medicine they need quickly, the state of Illinois expedites the processing of these applications.
If the person with the terminal illness is under the age of 18, they will be required to designate a caregiver when applying. Veterans with a terminal illness will need to provide 12 months of medical records from a Veterans Affairs facility and a copy of their DD214 showing an honorable discharge status. The veteran attestation of terminal illness form must be notarized prior to submission as well.
Qualifying individuals under the age of 18 are not required to submit a photo as part of their application to become a medical cannabis patient. However, unique to applying minors is that they must receive both an initial physician certification as well as certification by another reviewing physician. Furthermore, a minor must have at least one legal guardian serve as their caregiver. There is an option to designate two caregivers, given both are either biological parents or legal guardians of the minor.
Be aware that caregivers of minors will only be allowed to purchase medical cannabis-infused products from registered dispensaries. Other types of medical cannabis products including ones that require inhalation are strictly prohibited.
Adults Ages 18-20
When a qualifying patient reaches 18 years of age during the time frame that their card is still valid, they are welcome to reapply immediately for the registry again as an adult or wait until their renewal approaches. Until they apply as an adult though, the registry identification card shall be subject to the conditions applicable to the registered qualifying patient under age 18.
If you fall into this small age demographic as a new patient, you would be subject to obtaining a physician certification like any other medical cannabis patient but authorization by a reviewing physician is no longer a necessary step.
Veterans receiving health care at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility do not need to provide a Physician Written Certification but must instead include medical records from the VA facility for the last 12 months that show the diagnosis of a qualifying condition. Once you receive your official medical records, you must submit the medical records with your application. You will also need to have a copy of your DD214, showing you were discharged honorably, to accompany your application to be eligible for a reduced application fee of 50%.