About Cannabis in Illinois
In recent Illinois medical cannabis news, House Bill 3817 has been signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker. Effective January 01, 2024, the bill allows licensed marijuana businesses to take state-level tax deductions that they’re currently prohibited from utilizing at the federal level due to current 280E tax code provisions.
The Prairie State passed medicinal cannabis in 2013 with Senate Bill 862 signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. Six years later, in August 2019, Illinois’s recreational cannabis sales totaled $300 million in the first seven months of legalization after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2023, according to THCnet.com, a leading cannabis trade news source.
Showing overwhelming support for recreational cannabis legalization, Lt. Gov. Julia Stratton was among the first citizens to purchase it on the first day of sales in 2019. After her purchase, she tweeted, “For too long, IL residents, particularly those that are black & brown, have been targeted and criminalized for #cannabis possession.”
She finished off the social media post, saying, “It’s not just a new year, it’s a new day. Thank you, @Gov.Pritzker, for ending prohibition and building a more equitable Illinois.”
Illinois invites all qualifying patients and everyday citizens to purchase cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, significantly ending decades of discrimination against a plant that proves to alleviate certain medical disorders or their symptoms.
To qualify for an Illinois medical marijuana card, it’s a 4 step process. You’ll book an appointment to see a doctor who will evaluate your ailments and determine if you qualify for medical cannabis treatment. Once approved, you can submit your application to the state of Illinois and your card will arrive in 60 days. Once it arrives you can start buying from the dispensaries.
The Illinois Department of Public Health specifies that to qualify for the Illinois medical marijuana program, you must:
- Be an adult (at least 18-years-old or older)
- Minors must have recommendations from two physicians and their legal guardian must give consent
- Be recommended by a physician for marijuana use.
- Be an Illinois state resident with proof of residency.
- Not hold a school bus permit or Commercial Driver’s License
- Not be a firefighter, a correctional officer, an active duty law enforcement officer, or a correctional probation officer.
The first step to becoming a medicinal marijuana patient in Illinois is to meet with a certified Illinois doctor licensed from the state to certify patients for medical marijuana. This is the service Veriheal provides. Our physician will fill out the Physician Certification Form and submit it via mail to the Illinois Department of Health.
The application fee depends upon the length of the registration in years. For a one-year card, the cost is $50, for a two-year card the cost is $100; and for a three-year card the cost is $125. The application fee is non-refundable.
A reduced application fee is available to those on social security disability income, supplemental security income, and for veterans. The reduced application fee is $25 for a one-year card; $50 for a two-year card; and $75 for a three-year card.
In order to complete your application, you will need to send a 2×2 inch passport photo that was taken in the last 30 days. It is important to make sure this photo is taken with a solid colored background with nobody else in the photo with you. The easiest option is to visit your local passport photo service location and have them take your photo.
Along with your application and a photo, you will need to provide two forms of proof that you are an Illinois resident. Acceptable forms of proof include but are not limited to:
- Illinois Driver’s License
- Voter Card
- Bank Statements
- Utility bills with your name and address on them.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Illinois
In 2017, the Prairie State deemed an “adequate supply” of medical cannabis at 2.5 ounces for every 14 days based on the patient’s qualifying condition(s), with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act creating a state-wide registry excluding patients and caregivers from arrest and prosecution for possession of medical cannabis.
Additionally, it “allows for the registration of cultivation centers and dispensing organizations,” according to ProCon.org, a Britannica Group news source. Moreover, “a tax is imposed upon the privilege of cultivating medical cannabis at a rate of 7% of the sales price per ounce.” There are 19 certified state-approved cultivation centers in Illinois.