If you have a medical condition and treat it with cannabis, or are thinking about treating it with cannabis, you’re probably familiar with Illinois’ medical marijuana program. But with recreational marijuana finally legal in Illinois, you may be wondering whether it’s worth going through the trouble of obtaining a medical marijuana card.
While it’s true that anyone over 21 who possesses a valid ID can now purchase cannabis, there are big advantages for medical patients. Sure, you have to fill out some forms and the application fee is $100 for a one-year registry card, but if you’re a regular marijuana user with a qualifying medical condition, the card will pay for itself in no time.
If you’re interested in getting your medical cannabis card but not sure where to start then we’re here to support! We’ve partnered with Illinois dispensary, NuMed, to make it easy for you to obtain your medical card. To apply for an Illinois medical marijuana card, start here.
Your Illinois medical marijuana card allows you to purchase higher quantities of cannabis than recreational users. While recreational customers can buy up to 1.05 oz of product, medical patients can buy 2.5 oz over a rolling two week period.
2. Guaranteed Stock
If you’ve recently visited an Illinois dispensary for recreational purposes, there’s a good chance they were out of stock for certain products, or even cleaned out entirely. But not so at medical dispensaries. As a medical patient, your dispensary is guaranteed to have product in stock so you can continue your treatment uninterrupted.
3. More Products
Medical marijuana patients not only have access to guaranteed stock, they also have access to more products. As a medical patient, your medical dispensary may sell products you haven’t been able to find at recreational dispensaries, and at dual-licensed dispensaries selling both medical and recreational cannabis, there will typically be two menus: one for medical, and an abridged version for recreational.
4. Priority Service
Not only are many dispensaries out of stock, there are also long lines and lengthy wait times due to the shortage. But if you have a medical marijuana card and visit a dual-licensed dispensary, the dispensary will give you priority over recreational users, allowing you to skip the line and experience a speedy transaction.
Medical marijuana is cheaper than its recreational counterpart due largely to the excise tax, which is a tax on specific goods like tobacco and alcohol. Cannabis also has an excise tax, but medical patients are exempt from it. In Illinois, excise tax on marijuana can be as high as 25%.
6. Grow Your Own
If you have a medical card, a dispensary isn’t the only way to obtain marijuana. While recreational users are not permitted to grow any amount of cannabis, Illinois patients are allowed to grow up to five plants per household.
To find out if you qualify as a medical marijuana patient, here are Illinois’ qualifying conditions:
*taken from Verilife
To apply for an Illinois medical marijuana card, start here.