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Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program

On August 12, 2019, changes to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program became effective. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act is a permanent program and the “pilot” designation has been removed. While some provisions will become effective immediately, there is significant work the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) must complete before all the changes can be implemented. Some of the requirements affect other state programs, databases and IT systems and these changes will require additional time to ensure they are completed correctly.

The information below explains the changes to the Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) and the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) and the proposed start dates.

  • New debilitating medical conditions for the Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP)
    • Autism
    • Chronic pain
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Migraines
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
    • Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
    • Neuropathy
    • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
    • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
    • Ulcerative colitis

      The physician certification has been updated on the IDPH website to include these conditions. Qualifying patients who have these debilitating medical conditions may begin submitting applications beginning August 12, 2019.

  • Persons under 21 years of age are prohibited from purchasing smokable medical cannabis, including vaping products, paraphernalia and associated accessories – effective immediately

    Note: Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries will be prompted to verify the registered patient’s age at the time of purchase.

  • Advance Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants may complete certifications for qualifying MCPP and Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) patients – launch anticipated in September 2019
  • Veterans with a current prescription for an opioid who are receiving medical services at VA medical facilities shall be eligible to register for the OAPP - launch anticipated in September 2019
  • Allow registered MCPP patients to register up to three (3) designated caregivers - launch date to be determined
  • Allow “immediate” dispensary changes for registered MCPP patients - launch date to be determined
  • Allow a waiver of the allowable amount of medical cannabis for veterans who receive medical services at VA medical facilities - A qualifying patient who is a veteran receiving medical care at a VA health care facility may establish a bona-fide relationship with a non-VA physician to obtain a waiver to increase the adequate supply of medical cannabis for a 14-day period. The physician shall complete a written certification, including an in-person office visit within 90-days of the date of the waiver submission. Both the written certification and the waiver submission shall be submitted to the Department along with the required fee. The required forms may be viewed at http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/physician-information - effective immediately
  • Allow registered MCPP patients to grow up to five (5) cannabis plants for personal consumption – effective January 1, 2020

Please watch this webpage or check the Illinois Department of Public Health website www.dph.illinois.gov regularly for updates.

​Applying for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program? Click here.

Patients and caregivers may register with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. For any questions regarding patient and caregiver registration, call or email the DPH Division of Medical Cannabis at 855-636-3688 or DPH.MedicalCannabis@illinois.gov. Patients may also print applications from mcpp.illinois.gov and mail their applications to DPH at:​

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761-0001.​

Need help completing your registry card application? Click here.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is partnering with certified local health departments (LHD) to provide assistance to qualifying patients with completing their applications for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program. There is no charge for this assistance, however, costs associated with registration fees and other requirements (i.e., passport photo, certification of debilitating condition, copies of required documents, etc.) are the responsibility of the applicant.