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Illinois Set to Begin Application Process for Medical Program

A doctor in Illinois holds out his hands, in each an option for pain relief, marijuana or an opioid prescription.


Illinois Set to Begin Application Process for Medical Program

Patients in Illinois may now download the application for a medical marijuana registry identification card, although the state will not be accepting applications until early September. Patients whose last names begin with the letters A-L may submit their application electronically or by mail from September through October. Patients whose last names begin with M-Z may apply from November through December.

In addition to the application form, patients must submit proof of residency, a $100 application fee ($50 for those on disability and veterans) and must submit to a fingerprint and background check. In addition, their physician must mail in a form certifying that the patient suffers from one of the dozens of listed medical conditions. Patients who have a condition not listed may apply to an advisory board to have their condition added.

Qualified applicants will need to designate a dispensary from which they will be allowed to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 14 days. Patients can also designate a single caregiver who will be authorized to obtain and administer cannabis on the patient’s behalf.

While designated caregivers will be authorized to acquire cannabis on behalf of a legally registered patient, neither patients nor caregivers will be permitted to grow cannabis. Under the law, cannabis can only be legally grown at an authorized cultivation center. The law provides for up to 22 such centers in the state of Illinois. Cannabis grown in other states will not be allowed to be imported into the state.

Although the first clinic offering medical cannabis prescriptions opened shortly after the law was signed in August 2013, and the law itself went into effect in January of this year, the rules for dispensaries and cultivation centers have yet to be fully implemented.

In a series of town hall meetings during the month of August, officials from the Departments of Public Health, Agriculture and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFRP) met with patients, cultivators and investors to elicit feedback from the community on the proposed regulations. According to the DFRP’s FAQ, once authorizations are awarded, dispensaries are expected to open in the Spring of 2015.

Draft applications for dispensaries and cultivation centers are available online, but it must be stressed that these are merely drafts and the rules listed therein are subject to change. In addition to cannabis, dispensaries will be allowed to offer edibles and paraphernalia such as vaporizers and other cannabis accessories.

Dispensary applications will require the business to submit a business plan and financial statement proving that the dispensary has access to at least $400,000 in liquid capital, that it’s located no closer than 1,000 feet from any schools and that the facility will provide adequate security services.

Cultivation center applications will require similar information as well as facts on the methods of cultivation and environmental impact statements.

Although the state of Illinois is committed to implementing the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program as soon as possible, until the rules are fully in place it is still illegal to grow, offer to provide or posses cannabis in the state of Illinois.

Will you be submitting an application to participate in the medical program? Let us know!

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