Medical (Comprehensive)

Important Dates

1978: The Cannabis Control Act allowed for medical marijuana, but the action necessary to make it official was never taken.
2013: The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act went into effect, allowing individuals with qualifying conditions to apply for and legally consume medical marijuana.
2016: Recreational possession and consumption, while still illegal, was decriminalized.


After the Cannabis Control Act that would have legalized medicinal cannabis possession and consumption in 1978 was stalled due to inaction, Illinois officially passed The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act nearly 40 years later. Expanded on over the last few years to include use by minors with qualifying conditions, those suffering from PTSD and those with terminal illnesses, the Act is effective until July 1st, 2020.


Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in Illinois?

Legal, card-carrying patients who have registered with a dispensary and have a qualifying condition can obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Private property cultivation is currently illegal.

Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Illinois?

A driver will face DUI charges only if he or she has five or more nanograms of THC in his or her bloodstream or ten or more in his or her saliva.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Illinois?

To obtain a medical marijuana card in Illinois, one must:

  • Meet with a physician who will fill out a written certification form that proves a qualified condition. This form is then mailed to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Medical Cannabis.
  • Choose a licensed, medical dispensary (patients and/or their caregivers are only allowed to purchase from one) and fill out and sign your application. Your application must also be accompanied by an application fee, a valid photo, proof of residency and other applicable documents.

Can I use marijuana in public in Illinois?

It is illegal for anyone to use marijuana in public in Illinois.

Can I sell marijuana in Illinois?

Only state-licensed dispensaries can sell cannabis in Illinois.


The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding Illinois marijuana laws, please see Find Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.