Medical Cannabis Pilot Program
On August 1, 2013, Illinois enacted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, Public Act 98-0122. The Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) allows persons who are diagnosed with a qualifying debilitating medical condition to register with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in order to obtain access to cannabis (marijuana) for medical use.
An individual diagnosed with one or more qualifying debilitating conditions is eligible to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. The qualifying patient must obtain a written certification from a physician specifying their debilitating condition, unless they are a veteran receiving health services at a VA facility. Veterans must submit one year of medical records from the VA facility where they receive services.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted emergency rules to implement Public Act 100-1114 on December 1, 2018. The provisions of P.A. 100-114 include:
- Patients and Designated Caregivers applying for a Medical Cannabis registry card do not need to submit fingerprints or consent to a background check as part of their application.
- No business or person may charge patients for help filling out applications. If a patient needs help with the application process, they may visit a participating local health department for free help. Many medical cannabis dispensaries can also help a patient fill out the application at no charge.
- Certifying physicians are required to have a relationship with the patient established at a physician’s office, hospital, or other healthcare facility and the physician must have an ongoing responsibility for the patient’s assessment, care, and treatment.
- Implementing the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program for persons who have a prescription for an opioid or whose physician
Provisional Access to MCPP
On February 1, 2019, IDPH began issuing provisional access registration cards to persons who apply on-line for the Medical Cannabis Patient Program https://medicalcannabispatients.illinois.gov . The provisional registration card allows the qualifying patient and designated caregiver, if applicable, to access a medical cannabis dispensary while the patient’s application is being processed. Patients who registered on-line December 1, 2018 through January 31, 2018 also received a provisional registration card. For more information about provisional access to MCPP click here.
Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP)
On January 31, 2019, IDPH successfully launched the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP). The OAPP, which is part of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), was created through the Alternative to Opioids Act of 2018. The OAPP allows access to medical cannabis for individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois. The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program was designed to provide people with an option to manage their pain. Opioids can be highly addictive in a very short period of time and this program offers qualifying individuals an alternative. For more information about the OAPP, click here.
IDPH does not offer onsite assistance, but we are able to answer your questions or process your requests via email. Information about the:
Medical Cannabis Patient Program - DPH.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opioid Alternative Pilot Program – DPH.OAPP@illinois.gov
Medical Cannabis Program representatives are available by phone at 1-855-636-3688 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM