Qualifying Patients

In order to get a medical cannabis recommendation and legally buy cannabis products from dispensaries some basic qualifications must be met.

  • Must be 18 years or older*
  • Illinois state resident with proof of residency
  • Diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition
  • Doctor’s recommendation  (no longer required)

For parents or caregivers attempting to access medical cannabis for their children the rules change a little bit.

Two physician recommendations are required, along with the parent or legal guardian serving as primary caregiver for the patient.

Step By Step Guide

Follow the directions in the following steps to enroll in the medical cannabis program.

1. Physician Written Certification Form

Ask your physician to fill out this form to certify that you have one of the qualifying conditions. Your doctor must complete and mail this form to the Department of Health. Your appointment must be within 90 days of submitting your application to the Department.

2. Complete & Sign Application

Fill in all parts of the application, choose a medical cannabis dispensing organization and sign the last page. You may also fill out the optional demographic information. If you do not want to designate a caregiver, don’t fill out that section of the application.

You can also apply online, but only if you want a three-year card. If you want a two- or three-year card you’ll need to apply by mail.

3. Application Fee

There is a non-refundable fee of  $100 for a one-year registry card, $200 for a two-year registry card and $250 for a three-year registry card. 

The fee is reduced for veterans or persons enrolled in federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability program. Veterans, include a copy of your DD214. SSDI/SSI recipients, include a copy of your benefit verification letter, dated within the last year.

The reduced fee for those who qualify is $50 for a one-year registry card, $100 for a two-year registry card and $125 for a three-year registry card.

4. Photograph

Do not send in a selfie! Provide a 2×2 inch passport-sized photo. Double check – are you by yourself, facing the camera, is your full face showing? Take the picture against a plain, white backdrop with absolutely nothing in the background or visit a local passport photo service.

5. Proof of Residency

You will need two items that prove you live in Illinois. The addresses on each of the documents must match the address on your application. Bank statements, utility bills, state ID, driver’s license and voter ID cards are all acceptable. Check the application for a full list.

6. Proof of Age & Identity

Send in a copy of a valid, unexpired government issued photo ID.

7. Veterans

Send a copy of your DD214 and the application fee ($50 for a one-year registry card, $100 for a two-year registry card and $125 for a three-year registry card). If you are receiving care at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility, you may submit medical records from the VA about treatment for your qualifying debilitating medical condition from the past year, instead of a Physician Written Certification Form.

8. Caregiver Application

Complete the entire caregiver application and send it with the caregiver fee ($25 for one year, $50 for two years or $75 for three years) and all supporting documents (photo, proof of residency, proof of age and identity, fingerprint consent form, caregiver’s signature). The caregiver application should be sent with your patient application.

9. Need Help or Have Questions?

If you have a question, check with the Division of Medical Cannabis before sending your application. Call them at 855-636-3688 or send an email to

Final Checklist

Before submitting an application it’s good practice to double check that all required documents are accounted for. This will ensure timely processing of the application and avoid easy mistakes.

  • Physician Written Certification Form
  • Complete & Signed Application
  • Application Fee
  • Photograph
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of Age & Identity
  • DD214 (if veteran)
  • Caregiver Application (if applicable)
  • Designated Caregiver Application (for minor use)

Application Forms & Delivery

Patients have the ability to submit their application via traditional mail or an online registration system. Each method requires the same documents and applicable fees.

Patient Application

Physician Written Certification Form

Cargiver Certification Form

Apply Online

Mail Application To:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761-0001

Help & Contact Information:

Toll-free 855-636-3688
Phone: 217-782-3300
TTY : 800-547-0466


Application Form for Minors

Reviewing Certification Form for Minors

Waiver To Increase Adequate Supply

Application For Those With a Terminal Illness