Recommending Cannabis in Illinois

Rather than recommending medical cannabis, physicians must certify that the patient has a qualifying debilitating medical condition. In order to make this certification, physicians must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship, have an ongoing expectation to care for and treat the patient, review the patient's medical history, and complete an in-person physical examination of the patient within 90 days prior to completing the certification. The physician must be licensed in Illinois as a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, be in good standing to practice medicine in Illinois, and have a controlled substances license under Article III of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

Physicians providing certifications generally are not permitted to have an economic interest in or work for or with medical marijuana cultivation centers or dispensaries. Physicians are not permitted to refer patients to dispensaries.

Additional guidelines for physicians and the certification forms can be found on the Medical Cannabis Health Care Professional Information. The certification must be sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health by the physician.