What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois (2024)

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in Illinois?

Illinois specifies 52 debilitating medical conditions as qualifying for medical marijuana treatment. In addition to these, the state also issues a medical marijuana card valid only for 6 months for any applicant diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Illinois 2024

The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act recognizes the following qualifying medical conditions as prerequisite for eligibility for the state’s medical cannabis registration identification card:

  • Autism
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) Type II
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures including those presenting with epilepsy
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease including that caused by arachnoiditis
  • Spinal cord injury or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord resulting in intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Does Illinois Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to add new illnesses or medical conditions to the state’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. However, as of early 2024, the only additions to this list occurred through a legislative act when Senate Bill 2023 was signed into law on August 9, 2019. The bill added these 11 new qualifying conditions: autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet's Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

The Department accepts petitions to add new debilitating conditions annually between December 1 and December 31. Any Illinois resident can submit a petition for a new condition.

Does Illinois Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

No. Certifying physicians can only recommend medical cannabis for patients diagnosed with one or more of the conditions on the Illinois’ list of qualifying conditions. If a physician or patient believes a debilitating condition should be included on this list, they can submit a petition to add it to the Department of Public Health during the open window in December.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Illinois?

Yes. Illinois’ medical cannabis law mandates an eligible health care provider to certify that the individual applying for medical marijuana access has a debilitating condition recognized as qualifying for medical cannabis treatment. Illinois only accepts certifications provided by state-licensed:

  • Doctors of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse-Full Practice Authority (APRN-FPA)
  • Advanced Practice Nurses (APN)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)

These certifications must be renewed every 3 years (for individuals with 3-year medical cards) or when patients’ medical marijuana cards expire. Furthermore, Illinois requires that the certifying health care provider:

  • Have a bona fide health care provider-patient relationship with the patient they are certifying for medical cannabis use
  • Complete an in-person assessment including physical examination of the patient before completing their medical marijuana certification
  • Is responsible for the patient’s ongoing care and their continuing treatment for the debilitating condition

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois?

In addition to getting a health care provider certification for a qualifying medical condition, Illinois requires any applicant for its medical marijuana registry ID card to also be a resident of the state. It does not have an age requirement for medical cannabis access. Adults (18 years or older) as well as minors can apply for the Illinois medical marijuana card. A qualifying minor, however, needs the consent of their parent or legal guardian who must also serve as their caregiver.

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