Medical Cannabis FAQ

Application and Registration Information

Please see below for Medical Cannabis-related frequently asked questions. All application forms for Medical Cannabis, including the online Patient and Caregiver applications, are available online at the IDPH Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program website here

Send us a message to begin the process of getting a medical card. We’ll respond with all the forms and information you need.

In order to qualify for a medical cannabis card, a patient must:

  • Be a resident of the State of Illinois
  • Over 18 years of Age*
  • Not have been convicted of an excluded offense
  • a felony under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act or Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or similar provisions in a local ordinance or other jurisdiction, unless the Department waives such a conviction(s)
  • Have a qualified debilitating condition certified by a qualified physician

The following are considered qualified debilitating conditions under Illinois law:

  • 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

If you have a terminal illness, in addition to filling out the normal forms, you can submit a Terminal Illness Application.  This can expedite your application and get you care and access sooner.

Note: An incomplete application will be denied so make sure you submit a complete application in the 90 day time period. We recommend meeting with your doctor prior to beginning the application.

A designated caregiver is a person who is selected by a qualifying patient as the person authorized, on the qualifying patient’s behalf, to obtain medical cannabis from a certified dispensary. Caregivers must complete the caregiver application. A designated caregiver is issued a medical cannabis registry identification card that allows him/her to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis on behalf of their patient. It is not legal for caregivers to consume medical cannabis that has been dispensed on behalf of a registered qualifying patient.

A patient may have up to three caregivers at one time.

If you are under 18 years old you can still become a registered medical cannabis patient in Illinois. To qualify you must:

Designated caregivers of patients under 18 years of age may only purchase medical cannabis-infused products. Other types of products, like flower and prerolls, are not allowed.

A veteran who has received treatment at a VA hospital is deemed to have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with a VA physician if the patient has been seen for his or her debilitating condition at the VA hospital in accordance with the VA hospital protocols.

To qualify for a patient registry card, a veteran must:

  • Be an Illinois resident and provide two valid items proving residency.
  • Have a qualifying debilitating medical condition.
  • Provide a copy of his or her U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official hospital medical records requested on VA form 10-5345. If you have received care for your debilitating medical condition for more than 5 years at a VA facility, you must mark “OTHER” on VA Form 10-5345 under “INFORMATION REQUESTED” then specify that you are requesting information about the treatment of your debilitating medical condition for the most recent 12-month period. Under “PURPOSE(S) OR NEED FOR WHICH THE INFORMATION IS TO BE — USED BY INDIVIDUAL TO WHOM INFORMATION IS TO BE RELEASED” write “personal medical purposes.” Under “NAME AND ADDRESS OF ORGANIZATION, INDIVIDUAL OR TITLE OF INDIVIDUAL TO WHOM INFORMATION IS TO BE RELEASED” write your address. Once you receive your official medical records, you must submit the medical records with your application.
  • Provide a copy of his or her DD214 or equivalent certified document indicating character and dates of service.
  • Not have been convicted of an excluded offense.
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee with the signed Registry Identification Card Application to the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Medical Cannabis.

Note: This is only the list of fees from the State of Illinois. Other fees, such as doctors visits may also occur. View most current fees here at

  • $100 for a one year registry card, $200 for a two year registry card and $250 for a 3 year registry card. 

  • For the reduced fees: $50 for a one year registry card, $100 for a 2 year registry card and $125 for a 3 year registry card.

  • For qualifying patients enrolled in the federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) disability programs, submit a copy of a letter or other documentation form the Social Security Administration identifying the qualifying patient and showing the amount of monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits to be received by the qualifying patient during the current year of application. – Veterans must provide a copy of their DD214.
  • Annual caregiver application fee is: 1 year @ $25, 2 years for $50, and 3 years for $75
  • Replacement card fee is $25
  • Returned check fee is $35

If your medical cannabis registry card will expire between 10/30/20 and 4/30/21, you should automatically receive a new card in the mail. The new card will add an additional year to the card term length without the need to extend or renew your card through renewal application and payment.

For more information, please refer to the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program eLicense System homepage. You can reach out to directly to the state with any questions at [email protected]

When your card is ready for extension or recertification, IDPH will mail a courtesy reminder. Once you’ve received the letter, visit the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program eLicense System and click “Renew HERE” to begin the process.

Dispensary transfers are now handled within about an hour, vs the usual 24 hours! View the December 2019 IDPH update for more details. Click here for help switching dispensaries.

We do not refer doctors, but we can provide a list of doctors in our area that other patients have used. Send us a message to get started.

Medical Cannabis General Information

Illinois state law requires patients to designate a dispensary and use that dispensary for all medical cannabis purchases. Click here for help switching dispensaries.

Due to social distancing, we’re only allowing a limited number of walk-in customers at this time. Place a same-day order and schedule a pickup time using our new system. Next-day orders are available after we close for the evening. Read our quick tips page to learn more about your first visit.

We’re only licensed for recreational sales at the River North location. The state did not grant any new medical licenses after legalization. Anyone 21+ is welcome to make a purchase at River North, but all transactions there will be taxed at the recreational rate.

We accept cash, and debit cards for cashless ATM transactions. We do not accept credit cards.

Cashless ATM transactions require a $3.50 transaction fee. We have ATMs inside both dispensaries; the fee is $3.25.

Your bank may charge additional fees for ATM and cashless ATM transactions; please consult with your financial institution for details.

Illinois law allows registered patients and/or their designated caregivers to purchase 2.5 ounces of cannabis products during a period of 14 days from a registered Illinois dispensary.

You can apply to raise your allotted purchase amount by submitting the following doc:

Increasing Adequate Supply

Offers and rewards points can be applied to preorder and walk-in transactions. If you place a preorder, your discount will not be reflected in the estimated total you see online.

When checking out, just let your budtender know about the discount before you pay. They’ll apply your discount and provide you with a new, discounted total.

Check our Rewards Club help page for more information.

Just text “WALLET” to the phone number we text you from to receive a personalized link. For detailed instructions on how to check your wallet for Rewards Club offers, reference our Rewards Club help page.

Selecting the right strain is important to many patients. The main types of strains are sativa, indica or hybrid. Most users of indica medical cannabis plants notice a relaxing effect. The effect of sativa medical cannabis is described as quite cerebral, giving the user energy and stimulation to both the body 
and mind. Hybrids, which offer benefits somewhere in the middle of these two descriptions, are often selected to balance mood and relieve anxiety.

For a customized product consultation, try our live chat feature in the bottom right hand corner during business hours.

THCA is the chemical precursor to THC. Many cannabis products, like flower or concentrate, contain high levels of THCA. A small amount of the THCA naturally present in cannabis converts to THC during the curing and drying process.

When you apply heat to the product, usually by smoking, dabbing, or vaping it, the THCA is converted to THC.

Since THCA and THC have a different molecular weight, THCA percentage by weight does not exactly match THC percentage by weight. To find the total THC in your product, use this equation.

(THCA % Listed on Product) x 0.877 + (THC % Listed on Product) = Total THC % in Product

Read more about THC and THCA on our blog.

No, there are a variety of methods for using medical cannabis. There are three basic administration methods: inhalation, oral, and topical. If you do want to inhale the medical cannabis, you can vaporize the medical cannabis opposed to smoking it, which has shown to be a healthier form of inhalation.

Every patient is affected differently by various strains and methods of consumption. Potency also varies from strain to strain and product to product. We recommend all patients start with smaller doses to test their effects and then to adjust with experience. We have found this dosage calculator to be very helpful in explaining percentages and doing some of the math for you.

Medical cannabis can legally be used in private residences, including balconies and backyards.

Medical cannabis can never be used in any public spaces, including public parks and front porches.

Send us a message to begin the process of getting a medical card. We’ll respond with all the forms and information you need.

No, unfortunately we do not stock seeds or growing supplies at this time. Home growing is legal for patients only (it is not legal for recreational users), but no local cultivators are selling us any seeds at this time, and we do not yet know where they will be available for purchase. We will make sure to alert all of our patients via email (sign up for emails here or below) when we know more.

We admit one person at a time. Each individual must have their own appointment. Please leave family and friends at home.

No weapons are allowed inside of MOCA. You will be turned away if you are carrying anything we believe could hurt our staff or other customers/patients (guns, knives, tasers, pepper spray, etc). If you want to ensure you will get inside, please do not bring any weapons with you.

All visitors are required to wear masks or other face coverings, and have access to hand sanitizer and a sink with warm water and automatic soap and paper towels. We encourage all patients in high-risk groups to contact us for help setting up a caregiver to eliminate the need to come into the dispensary entirely. Read more about our response to coronavirus here.

We have Spanish speaking staff available on most days of the week. This site can be translated into many different languages for easier browsing.

Talking to  Your Physician

The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act requires physicians certification to become a registered Medical Cannabis patient.  A physician may only be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed under the Medical Practice Act to practice medicine and must have a current controlled substances license under Article II of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.  No other licensed professions (including dentists) are eligible.

Once the physician concludes you are diagnosed with a qualifying debilitating medical condition and may receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medical cannabis, a Physician Written Certification Form must be completed by the physician.

When talking to your physician, consider the following points:

  1. Bring any available medical records
  2. Use language that is professional and technical, such as “medical cannabis” or “medical marijuana” as opposed to terms such as “pot” or “weed.”
  3. Explain why you feel medical cannabis is right for you and what benefits you expect from the use of medicinal cannabis. For example, do you want to restore appetite? Are you seeking to relieve symptoms such as pain or nausea caused by your medical condition or medications?
  4. Similar to all medications there are potential rewards and side effects with the use of medical cannabis. In your discussion with your doctor, discuss the potential side effects (such as: anxiety, drowsiness, dry mouth, dry or red eyes, headache) in order to be more educated and prepared for the effects of medical cannabis.

However, unlike many prescription medications, your doctor is not writing you a prescription for medical cannabis. Your doctor actually needs to provide you with a written certification. This document states that you do indeed suffer from the qualifying condition and that there is a bona-fide physician-patient relationship along with, in the physician’s professional opinion, certifying the patient is likely to receive benefit from the medical use of cannabis and it will treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms.