Illinois Legal Information

In 2013, The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (HB 1) was enacted to create a temporary statewide distribution program for qualifying patients. HB 1 specifies 35 qualifying conditions, but excludes chronic pain, the leading indication for use of medical cannabis. HB 1 allows patients to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks from one of the 60 dispensing organizations that will be supplied by the 22 cultivation centers. Cultivation by patients or their caregivers is prohibited. Minors, public safety officials, school bus and commercial drivers, police and correctional officers, firefighters, and anyone convicted of a drug-related felony are not eligible for the program.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved final rules for the pilot program on July 15, 2014 from the Departments of Agriculture, Financial and Professional Regulation, Public Health, and Revenue. The state's first dispensaries began serving patients in November 2015. In 2016, the legislature passed SB 10 that extended the sunset clause for the program to 2020, added PTSD and terminal illness as qualifying conditions, established a petition process for adding new conditions, and made changes in the regulations for physicians recommending process including a 3 year renewal option for patients. 

In This Section

Illinois' Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations

On August 1 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 1, The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which creates a statewide distribution program for patients with one of over 35 serious medical conditions under the recommendation of their doctor. HB 1 is very strict and does not allow for pain and does not allow patients or their caregivers to cultivate their medicine.

Becoming a patient in Illinois

1) Be a resident of the State of Illinois 2) Be diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition. 3) Have a signed, written certification from their physician for the use of medical cannabis; 4) Complete the fingerprint-based background check and not have been convicted of an excluded offense as specified under Section 25(b) of the Act (excluded offenses are primary violent felonies and felony drug convictions that were not for the medical use of cannabis); and 5) Be least 18 years of age to register (parents/legal guardians can register their children who are under the age of 18 if they agree to serve as their caregiver(s)) .

Recommending Cannabis in Illinois

Physicians must be in a bona fide relationship physician-patient relationship with an ongoing expectation of care to their patient in order to be able to recommend medical cannabis under the pilot program. Physicians must undertake a complete physical examination of the patient within 90 days of filling out a certification.

Facing state or federal charges?

The information found in this section and our legal support efforts are meant to educate patients, caregivers, and providers about their legal rights, what to expect if you are arrested and tips on avoiding encounters all together. The information in this section can be applied to all states whether your state has a law or not.