- About About
Medical Patient Resources Becoming a State-Authorized Patient Talking to your doctor Which conditions qualify? The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel Patient's Guide to CBD Patient's Guide to Medical Cannabis Guide to Using Medical Cannabis Condition-based Booklets Growing Cannabis Cannabis Tincture, Salve, Butter and Oil Recipes Leaf411 Affordability Program Tracking Treatment & Gathering Data with Releaf App Medical Professional Resources CME for Medical Professionals Cannabis Safety Medical Cannabis Research
- Legal Legal
Advocacy ASA Chapters Start an ASA Chapter Take Action Campaigns No Patient Left Behind End Pain, Not Lives Vote Medical Marijuana Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center Resources for Tabling and Lobby Days Strategic Planning Civics 101 Strategic Messaging Citizen Lobbying Participating in Implementation Movement Building Organizing a Demonstration Organizing Turnout for Civic Meetings Public Speaking Media 101 Patient's History of Medical Cannabis
- News News
Policy Model Federal Legislation Download Ending The Federal Conflict Public Comments by ASA Industry Standards Guide to Regulating Industry Standards Reports 2020 State of the States Medical Cannabis Access for Pain Treatment Medical Cannabis in America Recognizing Science using the Data Quality Act Fact Sheet on ASA's Data Quality Act Petition to HHS Data Quality Act Briefs ASA Data Quality Act petition to HHS Information on Lawyers and Named Patients in the Data Quality Act Lawsuit
- Join Join
History of Medical Cannabis in Illinois
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. The measure specified 35 qualifying conditions to secure patient access, but excluded chronic pain, the leading indication for the use of medical cannabis. HB 1 allowed patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks from a dispensing organization. Cultivation by patients or their caregivers is permitted for up to five plants only from seeds purchased from licensed cannabis retailers. Public safety officials, school bus and commercial drivers, police and correctional officers, firefighters, and those 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 with input 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, which 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, amended the process by which physicians certify patients, and extended the registration identification card validity period from one year to three years.
In 2018, Illinois instituted significant reforms to the state's medical cannabis program improving patient access. Designed to respond to the state's opioid crisis, the reforms removed requirements for patients to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check before qualifying for access. These modifications also addressed regulatory delays to patient access by allowing online patient applications accompanied by a doctor's recommendation to secure temporary legal access until regulators can formally review patient registry applications. As a result the number of registered patients in the state grew quickly from roughly 42,000 to over 100,000 patients since these regulations were adopted in late 2018. In 2018, the state also began to allow medical cannabis in schools and allowed for anyone with a prescription for opioids to trade in that prescription for medical cannabis.
In 2019, Illinois became the first state to legalize the non-medical use of cannabis through the legislature. This legislation allows patients to cultivate up to five plants at home and will exempt patients from taxes once Illinois' adult-use market is in place. The Illinois legislature also made the medical program permanent, added new qualifying conditions, and allowed nurse practitioners and physician assistants to issue recommendations. As of February 1, 2019, patients who submit Medical Cannabis Registry Card applications online receive provisional access to a licensed dispensary within 24 hours of completing the application process.