Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program

In August 2013, Illinois became the 20th state to authorize a program for the cultivation and dispensing of cannabis for medical purposes. The Medical Cannabis Registry Program is a statewide program that allows patients access to medical marijuana who meet one of the qualifying conditions. The Illinois Department of Public Health manages the registry by reviewing and processing applications and issuing registry cards to Illinois residents meeting program requirements. IDPH protects patient confidentiality while striving to ensure timely accessibility to cannabis for registered patients

Opioid Alternative Progam

On August 28, 2018, Public Act 100-1114, the Alternative to Opioids Act of 2018, was signed into law - making changes to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. The Public Act created the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP), which allows access to medical cannabis for individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois.

Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health indicates opioid deaths in Illinois increased 13 percent from 2016 to 2017. Opioids can be highly addictive in a very short period of time. This program offers qualifying individuals an alternative to manage their pain. The long-term goal of this program is to reduce opioid deaths.

On January 31, 2019, IDPH officially launched the OAPP

Qualifying patients for OAPP must be at least 21 years old and be a resident of Illinois.

Licensed physicians must certify the qualifying patients has a medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed based on generally accepted standards of care.

Registered patients are eligible to purchase 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every 14 days.

Physician certifications are valid for 90 days but can be renewed to allow patients to continue accessing medical cannabis.

A $10 fee is required for each 90-day registration period.

Veterans with a current prescription for an opioid who are receiving medical services at VA facilities shall be eligible to register for the OAPP effective September 30, 2019.

Additional Resources

Opioid Alternative Pilot Program

Qualifying Conditions 

Qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition, as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois.

  • 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 characteristic of Epilepsy)

  • Severe fibromyalgia

  • Sjogren’s syndrome

  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)

  • Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity

  • Spinocerebellar ataxia

  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome

  • Syringomyelia

  • Tarlov cysts

  • Tourette syndrome

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Ulcerative colitis

Additional Resources

Illinois Department of Public Health

Guide for Qualifying Patients 

Guide for Qualifying Caregivers