We want to thank our amazing Chicago community for voting us the best clinic to get your medical card for the THIRD year in a row! Every day, we see patients who are seeking alternatives to opioids to manage their symptoms. Getting a medicinal cannabis card in Illinois is the first step to accessing medicinal cannabis at dispensaries. Along with being able to visit dispensaries as a medical patient, there are several other benefits as well. If you haven’t gotten your medical cannabis card yet, what are you waiting for?! Check out the huge list of benefits below!
You can grow your own medicine
Do you have a green thumb? Are you interested in growing your own cannabis as medicine? As of January 2020, Illinois medical cannabis patients by law are allowed to grow up to five plants. There are great benefits to growing your own medicinal cannabis. Patients can grow their favorite strains and learn more about cannabis growing cycles. With cannabis shortages and dispensary prices potentially increasing, most patients find that growing their own cannabis helps save money on their medicine. Get a medical card and get your grow room blooming with your favorite strains in no time.
Possession and allotment
As an Illinois resident the scariest part about possessing cannabis is getting caught by law enforcement: getting arrested, having your car impounded, receiving fines, or even jail time depending on the amount of cannabis in your possession. As an Illinois medical cannabis card-holding patient, legally, you can possess up to 2.5 oz (70 grams). Being able to legally possess up to 2.5 oz allows patients to stock up on their medicine and be protected by Illinois state laws. Patients who make their own edibles or cannabis oils tend to purchase in bulk. For example, a half-ounce of raw cannabis flower may yield less than a 30-day supply of edibles. Having an adequate supply of cannabis can truly benefit patients and maintain their medication regimen.
Illinois has over 40 qualifying conditions approved for medical cannabis. Any Illinois doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant can certify patients for medical cannabis. Conditions range from cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder to chronic pain and Crohn’s disease. From July 2019 through June 2020, there were over 47,400 patients approved for medical cannabis. Over 14,000 qualified under chronic pain. Many progressive healthcare providers are encouraging their patients to turn to medical cannabis as a holistic way of treating their illnesses. Some people turn to medical cannabis when other treatments or pharmaceuticals have failed. Becoming a patient and medicating with cannabis can help patients who are suffering live with a better quality of life.
Taxes and discounts
Prices on cannabis products may vary, but know that when you check out at a dispensary you will be taxed. As a recreational customer, you pay 30-43 percent; as an Illinois medical cannabis patient, you pay 1-3 percent taxes on the same medicine. For example, if you purchase 3.5 grams of flower as a medical patient, the price may be $55-65. That same 3.5 grams of flower on the recreational menu after Cook County taxes added can cost $72-85. Cook county recreational cannabis tax may continue to rise, so save money and get your Illinois medical cannabis card!
Patients that receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and veterans with proof of a DD-214, can get a reduced fee on the state application. Instead of paying $100 for a one-year card, the reduced fee is $50. Take advantage of these discounts when submitting a medical cannabis card application.
The Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program began in 2015. Many people with serious qualifying conditions have been medical cannabis patients for years. Many studies have shown that cannabis, when used in a daily regimen, can be beneficial to patients trying to manage symptoms without the use of opioids. In 2018 the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) aimed to help people addicted to opioids heal with medical cannabis. Patients prescribed opioids for pain or other medical illnesses are allowed to use cannabis instead of opioids. Many medical cannabis patients have experienced an improvement in their health and a reduction in using pharmaceutical drugs. Cannabis can be a healing medicine!
2020 was a challenging year for mental and physical health. Scheduling months in advance for a doctor’s appointment can be stressful when you are chronically ill. In 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health allowed cannabis-friendly healthcare providers to certify patients via telemedicine. Potential cannabis patients can now receive their certification via e-mail after speaking to their health care provider on a phone call or telehealth video call. In 2018, the Illinois Department of Public Health began allowing patients to submit their cannabis applications via their website through the patient portal. Once the needed documents are uploaded and the state fees paid, new Illinois cannabis patients are able to print a provisional letter within 24 hours. The provisional letter allows a patient to gain access to their designated dispensary prior to receiving their actual card in the mail which could take 30-90 business days. With little to no wait time, getting your medical cannabis card is faster than ever.
Guidance and consulting
One positive thing about the pandemic is that people are realizing that cannabis is medicine. Dispensaries, cannabis cultivation sites, and budtenders were deemed essential in Illinois; this indicates the state government recognizes the importance of medical cannabis.
If you or someone you know is interested in getting your Illinois medical cannabis card, visit www.drconsalter.com and schedule an appointment today.
For more information about the Illinois medical cannabis program, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health medical cannabis page.