As of August 28, 2018, patients no longer need to fill out a fingerprint form and approval of their application is no longer subject to background checks.
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act went into effect January 1, 2014. Its implementation carved a path to safe access to medicine for patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions. The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois (“MCAI”) is committed to advocating for patients, and providing a support system to navigate the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Are you interested in becoming a patient of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, but you don’t know if you qualify or how to apply? See the list of QUALIFYING CONDITIONS to see what conditions are eligible. For help filling out your application, see the State of Illinois’ TOP 10 TIPS FOR COMPLETING YOUR APPLICATION.
Illinois Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
ALTERNATIVE TO OPIOIDS ACT
An update on the changes as a result of SB 336, the Alternative to Opioids Act, is AVAILABLE HERE and below.
In August 2018, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Alternative to Opioids Act, which allows Illinois patients who would otherwise be prescribed an opioid to choose to try medical cannabis instead. In addition, the Act streamlines several aspects of the application process and makes other important changes for patients.
Many aspects of the new law will require rulemaking, which must, by law, be completed for review by December 2018, and changes to the technology used to process patient applications. As a result, there will be a delay in implementing these aspects of the legislation. To help clarify, here are key provisions.
• Patients with one of the 41 debilitating conditions will no longer need to submit fingerprints or consent to a background check as part of their application. (As of August 2018, the application requests the fingerprint form but patients should simply skip this portion.)
• No business or person may charge patients for help filling out applications. If a patient needs help, they can go to a participating local public health department (full list here) for help at no charge. Most dispensaries (MCAI member list) can also help a patient fill out the application at no charge. Call your preferred dispensary to verify they can help you.
• Certifying physicians are required to have a relationship with the patient established at a physician’s office, hospital, or other healthcare facility and the physician must have an ongoing responsibility for the patient’s assessment, care, and treatment.
EFFECTIVE SUBJECT TO RULEMAKING AND TECHNOLOGY UPDATES (early 2019 estimate)
• Patients who would otherwise be prescribed an opioid may participate in the medical cannabis program through the Alternative to Opioids Pilot Program by taking their certification form to the dispensary of their choice.
• Patients with one of the 41 debilitating conditions will receive provisional access for up to 90 days to the medical cannabis program upon completion of their application online.