Things have undoubtedly changed for the better regarding the process of getting an Illinois medical marijuana card. The state approved MMJ in August 2013, although the program took some time to get off the ground. Even then, it was slow going, as doctors were reticent to get involved in the process out of fear of losing their licenses.
Fortunately, Illinois’ MMJ program has massively improved in terms of how easy it is to get a medical marijuana card. That’s thanks to a significant increase in the number of available medical professionals willing to provide the necessary written certification. This article highlights how to get an Illinois medical marijuana card and discusses the role played by the state’s physicians.
How to Get an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card
Although MMJ was technically legal in Illinois in 2013, it took a long time for residents to be able to quickly and easily get a medical card. After all, applications for sellers and growers didn’t start to be accepted for close to 18 months after legalization.
Even in 2019, it was tough to get MMJ in Illinois, as prospective patients had to contact the state’s Department of Public Health many times before getting through. Thankfully, things are much easier now, and the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2019; sales started in January 2020.
Furthermore, it’s now possible to apply for an Illinois medical marijuanas card online using services like MMJCardOnline. By using such a company, it becomes possible to get your MMJ card in the state without leaving the comfort of your home! After approval, you can buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces in any 14-day period. If you need more, go to a doctor and get them to sign a statement outlining your need to purchase and possess a greater amount.
Applying for an Illinois medical marijuana card is easy. The first step, as it typically is in states with MMJ, involves contacting a medical professional and scheduling a consultation. If they believe you’re a viable candidate, they’ll fill in the Physician Written Certification Form, which they’ll mail to the Department’s Division of Medical Cannabis.
There’s also an option for the physician to include the form with an online application. Also, the process involves proving that you got your certification within 90 days of the application.
Next, sign up via the official government website in Illinois and complete the MCPP Patient Registration application. Choose the dispensary you intend on using and finish the form. You can select between a one, two, or three-year card. These days, once your application is approved, the state sends a downloadable copy of your Illinois medical marijuana card. In the bad old days, patients sometimes had to wait up to three months to get their cards in the mail!
Doctors and MMJ in Illinois
Back in 2016, there was a shortage of medical professionals willing to get involved in the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Even though there’s a growing body of research showing marijuana’s potential medical benefits, at that time, the state medical licensing board was rumored to be investigating doctors who provided MMJ referrals.
The state’s MMJ program was fairly new at that point, and some doctors didn’t fully understand the legal duties and requirements involved. Those who were deemed to have broken the law were placed under investigation. If found guilty, they could have received a written reprimand or endure further disciplinary action, including being suspended or even having the medical license revoked!
Understandably, this ensured that many doctors didn’t get involved in the program early on. However, as the program has progressed, the requirements have become more obvious. As such, doctors are better able to determine whether a patient is eligible and are far less likely to break the law. These days, Illinois MMJ patients have an enviable selection of medical professionals willing to provide certification.
Final Thoughts on Applying for an Illinois Medical Marijuana Card
Illinois’ MMJ card program has been in place for several years. Thus, the necessary procedures are well-known to patients and doctors alike. As a result, getting a medical marijuana card in Illinois is now a straightforward process. You can even get everything done online, so apply today if you feel MMJ could help with your specific condition.