Medical Cannabis Use and Benefits

cannabis in a medicinal pill container
  • Highlights
  • Policy Changes Medical
  • Medical Timeline
  • Comparison MCPP/OAPP

01

Compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Act expanded access to dispensaries for patients to purchase medical Cannabis

02

The Medical Cannabis Patient program (MCPP) and the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) have similar program requirements and application steps; however, MCPP provides the license for a greater length of time, as well as allows for expanded purchasing options.

03

Since 2017, enrollment in MCPP has continued to increase each year. As of June 30, 2022, MCPP was serving a total of 135,649 active patients. Chronic pain accounted for 31.1% of all diagnoses, PTSD for 16.4%, Migraines, 10.4%, and Osteoarthritis 10.0%.

04

The most common conditions in which OAPP patients report use of Cannabis for is for back, neck, joint, and musculoskeletal pain.

05

Cannabis is most commonly used to manage pain, headaches/migraines, sleep disturbances, and lack of appetite by both medical and recreational users. Recreational users also utilize Cannabis for muscle spasms.

06

Application denial for MCPP has declined from 2017 to 2020, with 5.6% and 3.2% denial rates, respectively. The most common reason for denial is because they did not respond to multiple attempts to correct deficiencies in their application.

01

On July 15th, 2021, Illinois passed HB1443 and made amendments to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (Public Act 102-0098). These changes were effective immediately.

02

The changes to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act allowed medical cannabis patients to purchase cannabis at any dispensary. Previously, patients were required to purchase from a single designated dispensary.

03

Past year initiation of cannabis use remains highest for 12-17 year olds, followed by 18-25 year olds. Incidence of cannabis initiation remains very low for person 26 or older.

Source: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

July 2017-2018

1,148 qualifying patients denied – “primary reason was because they did not respond to multiple attempts to correct deficiencies in their application and/or their fingerprint background check reported that the applicant had excluded criminal offenses.”

20,584 people submitted applications. 5.6% of applications denied.

July 2018-2019

1,733 qualifying patients denied – “primary reason was because they did not respond to multiple attempts to correct deficiencies in their application”.

37,600 people submitted applications (the report states this is an approximate number). 4.6% of applications denied.

July 2019-2020

1,540 qualifying patients denied – “primary reason was because they did not respond to multiple attempts to correct deficiencies in their application”.

47,400 people submitted applications (the report states this is an approximate number). 3.2% of applications denied.

Medical Cannabis Patient Program

Opioid Alternative Pilot Program

1. Program qualifications:

  • Illinois resident
  • Diagnosed with at least 1 of the 41 qualifying conditions

1. Program qualifications:

  • Illinois resident
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Diagnosed with medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed based on generally accepted standards of care

2. Application steps:

  • Obtain physician certification
  • Complete online application, including a copy of ID and passport photo, and pay application fee
  • $50 for 1-year term, $100, for 2-year term, $125 for 3-year term

2. Application steps:

  • Obtain physician certification
  • Complete online application, including a copy of ID and passport photo, and pay application fee
  • $10 for a 90-day term

3. Renewals:

  • Extension renewal: Occurs annually for patients who did not purchase a 3-year card. Physician certification is not required
  • Certification renewal: Occurs every 3 years when card expires. Physician certification is required

3. Renewals:

  • Certification renewal: Occurs every 90 days. Physician certification is required

4. Purchases:

  • Patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis during a 14-day period – waivers to request increase allotment are accepted
  • Patients can purchase from any dispensary
  • Designated caregiver are permitted

4. Purchases:

  • Patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis during a 14-day period – no waivers to increase allotment are permitted
  • Patient must purchase from single, designated dispensary
  • No designated caregivers are permitted
  • Most Frequent Qualifying Debilitating Conditions Illinois MCPP
  • Registered Patients by Nature of Condition Illinois OAPP
  • Medical Conditions for which Cannabis was used by Medical or Recreational User