Applications to prescribe, administer and receive medical marijuana became available in early August 2014 in Illinois.
Governor Pat Quinn signed the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act” August 1, 2013. The law, which took effect January 1, 2014, made Illinois the 20th state to allow medical use of marijuana. The first clinic offering medical marijuana prescriptions in Illinois opened shortly after the bill was signed.
It was left up to the Illinois Department of Health to determine which medical conditions qualify for prescribed marijuana in the state, and to iron out details of how the law would be put into practice.
The IDPH made application forms available August 8, 2014, for patients and caregivers. Applications were required to be made electronically or by mail, and would not be accepted by the state prior to September 2, 2014.
State rules said qualifying patients whose last name begins with letters A through L can apply between September 1 and October 31, 2014. Qualifying patients whose last name begins with the letters M through Z can apply between November 1 and December 31, 2014. Starting January 1, 2015, applications will be accepted year-round.
Patients must submit written certification from a doctor that they need medical marijuana, proof of Illinois residency, proof of identity and age and a photo when they apply. Patients and caregivers were also required to submit a fingerprint and undergo a background check before qualifying for the Illinois medical marijuana program.