Looking to get a medical cannabis card in Illinois? My Virtual Physician can make the process quick, easy, and simple. Below, we’ll go through the process of how to get your medical cannabis card online if you reside in the Land of Lincoln.
Before diving into how to get one, let’s talk about the difference between using a medical cannabis card and purchasing marijuana recreationally, considering that both are now legal in Illinois. It’s important to assess which is a better route for your situation.
Medical Cannabis Card Vs. Recreational
Medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois for nearly a decade, having been in effect since 2014. A few years ago, the bounds of marijuana usage for medical use were stirred up a bit.
The year 2020 will go down in the history books as one of the most unusual in our lifetime. Besides the pandemic and the world literally being on fire, among other things—Illinois chose 2020 as the year to expand and legalize cannabis for recreational use.
But just because you no longer need medical approval to go to the dispensary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still get one. There are many valid reasons to opt for a cannabis medical card over recreational use.
Below, the table shows the differences between getting a medical card for cannabis vs. recreational use in Illinois:
|Medical Marijuana Cardholder||Recreational Use (Adult Use)|
|Legal Protections||-Employment discrimination
-Schooling enrollment protection
-In the event of a shortage, the state prioritizes medical cardholders
|-HB 4116 protects from workplace discrimination from the presence of THC in a drug test|
|Quantity Allowed in Possession||-5 plants allowed for cultivation
-Up to 2.5 ounces every 2 weeks
|-No cultivation allowed
-Up to 1 ounce (30 grams) allowed in possession at any time
-No more than 5 grams (500 mg) of concentrates
|Price and Taxes||-No excise tax
-Taxed at food and drug rate
|-Variable percentage excise tax on top of state and local sales tax (10-25%)|
-Under 18 with special cases and permission through a designated driver
Medical marijuana cardholders experience many advantages in Illinois, from the ability to cultivate their own plants to taking advantage of major tax cuts at the dispensary. In addition to those benefits, you’re also legally protected from discrimination when you become a medical cannabis cardholder.
Do I Qualify for a Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois?
If you are leaning toward getting a medical marijuana card, you’ll need to confirm that you qualify. Certain professions—including school bus drivers, CDL-holders, and law enforcement—are automatically disqualified from receiving a medical cannabis card.
As an Illinois resident, you’ll need a doctor’s certification that you’re treating one of the following debilitating medical conditions (this may not be a comprehensive list since conditions are regularly added):
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- HIV and AIDS
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Wasting syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Tourette’s
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Chronic pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anorexia nervosa
If you suffer from one of the conditions above, you can qualify to get a medical marijuana card in Illinois. Below, we’ll cover the steps to take next.
Getting Your Medical Cannabis Card in Illinois
My Virtual Physician can help you get your Illinois Medical Cannabis card in three easy steps.
Here’s what you’ll need to get your card:
- Physician’s Electronic Certification
- State Registration and Application
Step #1: Physician’s Certification
In Illinois, your healthcare provider must submit an electronic certification approving the medical use of marijuana in order to receive your medical cannabis card. The only exception is veterans, who may qualify without a certification form if they provide VA medical records for the previous year for the state to confirm eligibility.
The first step for most patients is to see a healthcare provider. During this visit, your doctor can certify the use of medical marijuana for health treatment. My Virtual Physician provides quick medical visits with board-certified physicians from the comfort of your own home to patients who desire an Illinois medical marijuana card.
Fill out our online application to begin the process to get your card now.
After your visit, My Virtual Physician will upload the health care provider certification to the state’s database, and it will become available on the portal for you to add to your application.
Keep in mind that you’ll have 90 days from the time of your medical evaluation to complete the rest of the process to get your card.
Step #2: Medical Cannabis Card Application
Illinois requires registration with the state in order to become a medical marijuana cardholder and reap the benefits provided by the program.
To begin this process, you’ll first need to register online with Illinois Cannabis Tracking System (ICTS) by following the instructions that apply to your situation. The Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) is designed for patients who are seeking a medical marijuana card for themselves. Other programs are available for caregivers to obtain cards for those under their care.
Once registered, you can start a new application (patient registration) inside the portal, answer each question, and upload documents such as photos, identification, proof of residency, and health records as applicable. Save your application and then select your healthcare provider’s electronic certification on the drop-down list.
The process can take up to 30 days in Illinois before you receive notification of approval.
Step #3: Paying for Your Medical Cannabis Card
There are two payments that are required for a medical cannabis card:
- Your Doctor (for the evaluation and certification)
- The State of Illinois (for the registration)
At My Virtual Physician, we charge $115 for the medical cannabis consultation which provides your required certification to the state. That covers one of the two payments to complete your card registration process in Illinois.
The second payment will go to the state. In Illinois, the current fees for Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) registration are $50 per year, with discounts available for a longer initial term or for those who qualify for reduced half-price registration fees (veterans or those enrolled in SSI, SSDI, or similar programs).
Currently, the options for the general population are:
● 1 Year Initial Registration: $50
● 2-Year Initial Registration: $100
● 3-Year Initial Registration: $125
Renewal fees are $50 for three-year terms. Online processing fees also apply (currently 2.25%).
Together, that puts your total cost for a medical cannabis card in Illinois at $165 for the first year or $240 for three years. A new physician’s certification is required every three years.
Take the First Step Now
If you’re ready to get your medical cannabis card as an Illinois resident, you’re in the right place. The first step starts with us. Set up your physician consultation with My Virtual Physician today to get relief today.