Illinois has a robust medicinal cannabis program. For patients over the age of 21, they may purchase 2.5 oz of flower marijuana in a 14-day period. Patients over 18, but under 21, are prohibited from purchasing cannabis preparations meant to be smoked or vaped. Home cultivation, however, is allowed, though patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal program may only grow 5 plants for personal use.
For adults over the age of 21 who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program, they may possess 30 grams of flower marijuana, 5 grams of THC concentrate, or 500 milligrams of THC that has been infused into a product (edible, lozenge, tincture, etc.), while residents of other states may possess half of these amounts—15 grams, 2.5 grams, and 250 milligrams, respectively. Residents who are not part of the medical program are prohibited from cultivating marijuana, though cultivation for 5 plants or less is a violation that results in a $200 fine.
Despite these liberal policies, failing to abide by the law can result in imprisonment and steep fines. A first-time offender who is found to be in possession of more than the state’s legal limit for possession but under 100 g—i.e. 30-100 g—will face misdemeanor charges that could result in a maximum fine of $2,500 and a term of imprisonment of up to 1 year. A subsequent possession charge within the same range (30-100 g) is a felony that could result in up to 3 years of incarceration and a $25,000 fine.
Individuals found in possession of larger amounts will face felony charges and could see more serious ramifications:
• 100-500 g: Up to 3 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
• 500-2000 g: Up to 5 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
• 2000-5000 g: Up to 7 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
• More than 5000 g: Up to 15 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
It is also a felony to grow more than 5 plants. Violators face similarly harsh consequences:
• 5-20 plants: Up to 3 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
• 21-50 plants: Up to 5 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $50,000.
• 51-200 plants: Up to 7 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $150,000.
• More than 200 plants: A minimum sentence of 6 years and up to 30 years of incarceration, as well as a maximum fine of $200,000.
It remains illegal to consume marijuana in public places or to drive under the influence of THC.
Properly licensed MDs, DOs, APNS, and physician assistants may recommend cannabis so long as they have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with the patient, they complete an in-person assessment of the patient, and the patient has one of the following debilitating conditions:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Anorexia nervosa
• Arnold-Chiari malformation
• Cachexia/wasting syndrome
• Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
• Chronic pain
• Crohn’s disease
• CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
• Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
• Fibrous dysplasia
• Hepatitis C
• Interstitial cystitis
• IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscular dystrophy
• Myasthenia gravis
• Nail-patella syndrome
• Neuro-Behcet’s autoimmune disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• PKD (polycystic kidney disease)
• Post-concussion syndrome
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
• Residual limb pain
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Severe fibromyalgia
• Sjogren’s syndrome
• Spinal cord diseases
• Spinal cord injuries
• Spinocerebellar ataxia
• Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
• Tarlov cysts
• Tourette syndrome
• Traumatic brain injury
• Ulcerative colitis
Illinois does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate medical marijuana patients from out of state.
For more information about the state’s medicinal cannabis program, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website and the page for physicians specifically: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/physician-information.