The cultivation of cannabis for medicinal uses is legal in DuPage County under the 2013 Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Registered medical cannabis patients can cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants over five inches tall. However, such plants must be cultivated in locked rooms with no access to minors. The cultivation must be away from public view and be done with the permission of the property owners of the sites in which cultivation occurs. Note that landlords in DuPage County may prohibit individuals living on their properties from cultivating cannabis on rented units. For example, it is illegal to cultivate cannabis in federally subsidized residential units. DuPage County also requires medical cannabis cultivation centers not to be located within 2,500 feet of schools, residential areas, and group homes.
Although recreational cannabis has been legalized under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), DuPage County prohibits adult-use cannabis and the establishment of recreational cannabis cultivation establishments within its unincorporated areas under the DuPage County Cannabis Prohibition Ordinance. Cannabis cultivation may be conducted within the incorporated areas of DuPage County.
The manufacturing of cannabis for recreational uses is illegal in the unincorporated areas of DuPage County even though Illinois approves adult-use cannabis under the CRTA. Adult-use cannabis infuser organizations and adult-use cannabis processing organizations are prohibited from operating within the borders of DuPage County’s unincorporated jurisdictions. Individuals may also not manufacture cannabis products. However, licensed facilities approved to manufacture medicinal cannabis products may operate in DuPage County, while recreational cannabis manufacturing may also legally occur in the incorporated regions of the county.
The retail sale of adult-use cannabis is illegal in the unincorporated areas of DuPage County. Although the CRTA legalized recreational cannabis in Illinois, regulations contained within the statutes permit Illinois counties to opt out of cannabis sales. The DuPage County Board voted 10-8 in October 2019 to prohibit recreational cannabis sales in unincorporated areas of the county. However, the County Board decided to levy the maximum allowed tax of 3% on cannabis sales conducted in the incorporated jurisdictions of DuPage County in order to offset increasing public safety costs.
The DuPage County vote does not prohibit the sales of medical marijuana in the county. Licensed medical cannabis dispensing establishments may sell medical cannabis to qualified patients. Licensed medical cannabis dispensing organizations may not:
DuPage County prohibits the delivery of adult-use cannabis within the borders of its unincorporated areas. Only medical cannabis dispensing facilities may deliver cannabis to qualified patients or their caregivers in the county in such jurisdictions. However, the delivery of medical cannabis is permitted in areas of DuPage County. Also, the delivery of recreational cannabis products are permitted in the incorporated parts of DuPage County in accordance with Article 15 of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act.
A valid medical marijuana (MMJ) card in DuPage County is a State-of-Illinois-issued identification card that allows the cardholder to legally purchase and consume medicinal marijuana. Under the Illinois medical cannabis program, the applicant must suffer from one of the approved medical conditions to qualify for a medical marijuana card. The approved medical conditions for which Illinois physicians may recommend medicinal marijuana include:
Besides suffering from one of the conditions listed above, an MMJ card applicant must also meet the following requirements:
Upon fulfilling the eligibility requirements for an MMJ card and gathering the required documentation, the applicant may initiate the application process online using the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System (ICTS) by selecting MCPP Patient Registration. An application fee will be required before completing the online application. The application fee varies depending on the desired term length of the MMJ card and the number of registered caregivers required by the applicant. MMJ card applicants may qualify for reduced application fees if they are able to provide documentation establishing that they are enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI disability program. Veterans seeking reduced application fees must submit copies of their DD214 forms.
The Illinois Department of Public Health may take up to 30 days to review and approve an application after submission. After the application is approved, the applicant will get a digital medical marijuana card via the ICTS, which may be printed and used to purchase medicinal marijuana. Note that Illinois no longer offers physical medical marijuana cards. MMJ cards are valid for one, two, or three years, depending on the period chosen during the application procedure.
For more information on MMJ card applications for minors and eligible caregivers, visit the medical cannabis page on the Illinois Department of Health website. Applicants may also contact:
DuPage County Health Department
111 N County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630) 682-7400
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
Phone 1: (855) 636-3688
Phone 2: (217) 782-3300
Illinois has seen an increase in revenue from taxes placed on cannabis and cannabis products since medical and recreational cannabis legalization. According to the IIRA (Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs), marijuana sales in Illinois exceeded $660 million in 2020, with the state generating more than $175 million in tax revenue.
Between July 2020 and June 2021, adult-use dispensing establishments in DuPage earned a revenue of $89.8 million, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's 2021 Annual Report. During the same period, medical cannabis dispensaries in DuPage generated sales of $55.2 million.
DUI arrest rates have dropped significantly in DuPage County following the legalization of medical cannabis in 2013. Before medical cannabis legalization, DuPage County recorded 4,045, 3,724, and 3,329 DUI arrests in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively. In the following years, the county recorded 2,912 and 2,935 DUI arrests in 2014 and 2015. DuPage County's arrest rates for DUI decreased further in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as the reported figures were 2,432, 2,433, and 1,968, respectively. Similarly, per a study published by the UIC (University of Illinois), DUI arrest rates in the State of Illinois dropped every year between 2014 and 2017.