Illinois’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (the “Act”) was signed into law on August 1, 2013, and creates a statewide registry and distribution program for patients with one of over 35 debilitating medical conditions.  The Act has since been amended to defer expiration of the pilot program from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2020, to apply to children under the age of 18, and to add seizures, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and terminal illness to the list of qualifying debilitating medical conditions. 

Patients that qualify for a Registry ID Card, which must be renewed every 3 years, are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks from one of over 40 dispensaries supplied by 19 cultivation centers. The Act does not allow patients or their caregivers to cultivate their medicine.  Flowers, edibles, tinctures, and topicals are permitted forms of medical cannabis.  The Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation each implement and regulate parts of the Act.

Public safety officials, school bus and commercial drivers, police and correctional officers, firefighters, and anyone convicted of a drug related felony are not allowed to be qualifying patients. The Act includes restrictions on where cannabis can be consumed and provisions for driving under the influence.

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. 


HB 1 (2013) - The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act

SB 2636 (2014) - Adding seizures to debilitating medical conditions, and creating access for minors.

SB 10 (2016) – Adding PTSD and terminal illnesses and extending expiration to July 1, 2020.   


Implementing regulations of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Department of Public Health, and

Department of Revenue are available on the state’s website.