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Your Guide to Illinois Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Thanks to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois residents have been able to legally purchase medical marijuana since 2014. The state regulates the cultivation, manufacturing, and sale of cannabis to ensure its medical cannabis patients receive high-quality, safe, and effective marijuana for their medical conditions.

The success of the medical marijuana program and ever-growing knowledge about the treatment value of cannabis has led to expansion and improved accessibility of medical cannabis statewide.

Although Illinois has legalized recreational cannabis, cardholders have access to a broader range of products with higher concentrations of THC than recreational users do. Cannabis dispensaries also have experienced personnel who believe in the medicinal value of cannabis and can offer suggestions about the adult-use cannabis products that will best suit your treatment goals.

Understanding the differences between Illinois' recreational and medicinal cannabis markets will enable you to manage the symptoms of your debilitating condition(s) using the best products available.

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Where Can You Buy Illinois Medical Marijuana?

There are currently more than 50 dispensary locations spread throughout Illinois. The Cannabis Regulation Oversight Office maintains a complete list of these licensed dispensaries. Be sure to call before visiting one since not all dispensaries carry medicinal products.

Some of the best dispensaries in Illinois for qualifying patients with medical cannabis cards include:

You can purchase Illinois medical cannabis from any licensed dispensary in the state with an MMJ card. Your medical marijuana card allows you to obtain and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 14 days.

What’s it Like Buying Medical Marijuana in Illinois?

Illinois dispensaries have been operational for eight years. Their well-established standards and practices promote patient comfort and ease.To purchase products from them, you’ll simply need to complete a check-in process in which you’ll present a printed copy of your marijuana card and photo identification to confirm your eligibility for medical cannabis.

You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase medical cannabis products in Illinois. Non-residents cannot visit Illinois dispensaries, cannabis businesses/retailers, or cultivation centers. Nor can they enroll in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP).

Dispensaries will log your information in accordance with the state’s purchase and possession limits. Keep in mind that they may display their medicinal products, which come in a greater variety, separately from recreational products.

Dispensaries themselves are structured similarly to pharmacies. The products are typically displayed behind a counter. The dispensary staff will be present to provide assistance and discuss the products with you. They’ll only offer products cultivated from plants grown under strict quality and safety standards.

Illinois dispensaries are staffed by knowledgeable and trained personnel who can advise you on the different strains and delivery mechanisms for medical marijuana. You will receive clearly-labeled products that list THC and/or CBD content, manufacturers’ names, and terpene content.

Tips for Purchasing Medical Marijuana Products

Thanks to a 2020 update to Illinois medical marijuana legislation, medical marijuana patients and their designated caregivers can visit any dispensary in Illinois. Still, you should always call ahead or visit the dispensary's website to ensure they carry medical-grade products before visiting them.

Some dispensaries only sell recreational marijuana. While you can still purchase products from them, their selection will be smaller and their products‘ THC levels lower.

Most dispensaries post daily menus of their products on their websites. Once you are comfortable with a certain strain and delivery mechanism, you can verify that it’s in stock before visiting a dispensary. Today, Illinois law bans the delivery of marijuana products.

Illinois dispensaries carry cannabis flowers, edibles, vapes, concentrates, topical gels and creams, pre-rolls, and tinctures. They are not mandated to stock specific products, so selection will vary by the dispensary.

As a cardholder, you are exempt from certain sales taxes on your medical marijuana purchases. As a result of in-state cultivation regulations, Illinois also prioritizes its medicinal marijuana supply in the event of cannabis shortages.

Need Help Applying for a Illinois Medical Marijuana Card?

The state of Illinois recently amended its cannabis laws to expand access to cannabis and streamline the medical marijuana card application process. However, the state does not maintain a list of eligible marijuana doctors or require local physicians to certify patients for medical marijuana.

The Sanctuary can help you find a healthcare provider who can review your qualifying condition(s) and discuss the treatment potential of cannabis. We can then guide you through the process of obtaining an Illinois medical marijuana card and help you submit a quality application.