FAQs for patients
How do I register as a medical cannabis patient in Illinois?
To register as patient in Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, you can either file an application through the state’s online portal or mail a paper application, which is available for download on the state’s website. To be eligible, you must:
- Be a resident of Illinois.
- Have a qualifying medical condition (see the list of qualifying conditions below).
- Have a physician complete and submit a certification of the patient’s debilitating medical condition (except for veterans receiving care at a VA facility).
- Complete a fingerprint-based background check and not have been convicted of certain excluded offenses (primarily violent felonies and felony drug convictions that were not for the use of medical cannabis).
- Be at least 18 years of age (see below for the special conditions that apply to minors).
- Not hold a school bus permit or Commercial Driver’s License.
- Not be an active duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter.
What are the qualifying medical conditions that would make me eligible to register as a patient?
Currently, patients must be diagnosed with one of the following debilitating conditions to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Arnold-Chiari malformation
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Crohn’s disease
- CRPS ( Complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- Interstitial cystitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-Concussion syndrome
- Posttraumatic 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
- Tarlov cysts
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
What if my child is under 18 and has a condition that could be treated with medical cannabis?
Illinois does allow children under 18 to register to become a patient as long as they have one or two designated caregivers. Caregivers are only allowed to purchase medical cannabis-infused products for minor patients. For more details, visit the state’s website.
How much does it cost to register?
The application fee is $100 for a one-year registry card, $200 for a two-year registry card, or $250 for a three-year registry card. There are discounted application fees available for veterans and people enrolled in the Federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs.
How long will it take to get my registry identification card?
Once it receives your complete application, the Illinois Department of Public Health has up to 30 days to approve or deny your application.
Once I’m registered, am I allowed to visit any dispensary in the state I want?
No, registered patients must designate a single dispensary that they will purchase medicine from. Patients choose a dispensary during the application process. Existing patients can also change their dispensary by filing paperwork with the Illinois Department of Public Health. If you’d like Mission to be your designated dispensary, we’d be happy to file the paperwork on your behalf. Please fill out this simple online form and we’ll get it filed for you right away.
How much medical cannabis am I allowed to purchase and possess?
Illinois law allows registered medical marijuana patients or their caregivers to purchase and possess no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a 14-day period. The pre-mixed weight of medical cannabis used in making a cannabis-infused product is applied toward that possession-and-purchase limit. Patients or their designated caregivers can only acquire medical cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary.
FAQs about the dispensary
What’s your address?
8554 S. Commercial Ave., Chicago, IL 60617
How can I contact the dispensary?
You can send us your question via our website. You can also give the dispensary a call at 773-530-0088.
Do you offer delivery services?
We don’t currently offer delivery services at our dispensaries. The availability of delivery services depends on state law.
Is your facility ADA compliant?
Yes, our dispensary is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Can patients with financial hardship receive medicine at a discounted price?
Yes. We at Mission believe inclusion is crucial for our dispensaries. We want to serve all the patients in our communities who need safe and convenient access to medical cannabis, regardless of what they can afford. Our patients suffer from a wide range of chronic and debilitating conditions, and the severity of these conditions can often inhibit a patient’s ability to earn income and afford medical cannabis to manage his or her health. The patients who need medicine most urgently are often the ones who cannot afford it. That’s why our dispensaries offer a “Compassion Program” that provides reduced-cost or free medical cannabis to patients with documented, verified financial hardship.
Do you accept out-of-state patients?
No. It is not currently legal for dispensaries in Illinois to serve out-of-state patients. Nevada is the only state that allows its licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to serve registered out-of-state patients.
FAQs about cannabis
What does science tell us about cannabis?
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different types of naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes. The best-known cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC.
THC is responsible for cannabis’ notoriety as it is the cannabinoid with the most significant psychoactive effect. But there are many other cannabinoids that have demonstrated therapeutic effects without being psychoactive, such as cannabidiol, or CBD, which is used to treat epilepsy in children.
In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant also contains a few other molecules known to have health effects, including terpenes, which are responsible for the particular strain of cannabis’ flavor and smell.
Cannabis is biologically classified as a single species: Cannabis Sativa. However, it’s considered to break down into three distinct plant varieties: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, though the last is rare. There are also hybrids, which are crosses between sativa and indica varieties. Cannabis used for fiber is typically referred to as hemp and has very small amounts of THC.
What conditions is cannabis known to treat effectively?
In general, medical-grade cannabis is used to produce a range of effects, including pain and nausea control, appetite stimulation, reduced muscle spasm, improved sleep, and others. However, individual strains can be cultivated to produce certain cannabinoid and terpene profiles that can be tailored to treat a range of health conditions. For instance, strains with more CBD tend to produce better pain and spasticity relief.
Here are some examples of how certain cannabinoids are used to effectively treat specific health conditions:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) relieves convulsions, inflammation, anxiety and nausea—many of the same therapeutic qualities as THC but without psychoactive effects. It is the main cannabinoid in low-THC cannabis strains, and modern breeders have been developing strains with greater CBD content for medical use.
- Cannabinol (CBN) is mildly psychoactive, decreases intraocular pressure, and seizure occurrence.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) promotes the analgesic effects (pain relief) of THC and has sedative (calming) effects.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) has sedative effects and antimicrobial properties, as well as lowers intraocular pressure.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is showing promise for type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders.
Is it safe to consume cannabis?
Consuming cannabis is very safe, especially when compared to other pharmaceutical products physicians prescribe to patients every day. In 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 deaths in the United States, 33,091 (63.1%) of which involved an opioid, including prescription painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There has never been a death recorded from the use or abuse of cannabis.
Even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has admitted that medical cannabis is safe to consume. In a response to a petition to reschedule cannabis under federal law, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young concluded in 1988 that, "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume.... Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care."
Do I have to smoke it?
While smoking the dried flower bud from the mature female cannabis plant is still the most common method of ingesting medical cannabis in the United States, it is not the only way. It is becoming much more common for patients to buy cannabis-infused products such as edibles, cannabis oil, tinctures and sublingual sprays, and topical products to rub on the skin.
Should I be worried about talking to my doctor about care options involving medical cannabis?
No. There is nothing wrong or illegal about discussing medical cannabis with your doctor. Federal courts have ruled that the First Amendment protects doctors in discussing medical cannabis and recommending it to their patients.
Beside Illinois, where else is medical cannabis legal?
There are currently 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have made legal to some extent the ability of a patient to possess, cultivate, and/or buy medical cannabis or medical cannabis-derived products. That number includes states such as Kentucky that have limited its medical cannabis laws to allow only products containing cannabidiol (CBD).
FAQs for community members
Are patients allowed to consume cannabis at or outside your facilities?
No. Patients are not allowed to consume cannabis on any Mission facility’s property.
What benefits can we expect from having your facility in our community?
Mission takes pride in working with communities to alleviate concerns and to make sure that our facilities are a benefit to the community at-large. Our dispensary adds value to the community through acts of service, educational offerings, charitable donations, active civic participation, and providing medicine at low cost to patients with limited financial means.
Will your facility bring crime to our community?
No. Studies have shown that there is no correlation between the location of a medical cannabis facility and an increase in crime. In fact, multiple studies have suggested that medical marijuana facilities actually assist law enforcement in reducing crime. Since most medical cannabis facilities occupy space that would otherwise be left vacant, they not only deter crimes on the premises, but the surrounding areas as well. This has already been documented in Massachusetts, where security cameras outside an RMD (Registered Marijuana Dispensary) in Brookline provided local police with vital information about a felon who was wanted for several robberies in the area that were unrelated to the RMD.
A number of studies disprove the idea that medical marijuana facilities lead to an increase in crime. For instance, a 2012 UCLA study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found no connection between the geographical density of medical marijuana facilities and an increase in property crime or violent crime rates. Uncoincidentally, this trend corresponds to overall crime trends in states where medical marijuana is legal. Violent crime in Denver dropped 6.9% from 2013 to 2014, according to the city's 2014 annual report. Even Los Angeles, which has the most permissive medical marijuana regulations in the country, has seen city-wide crime rates drop drastically since programs were implemented in 2004.
This research not only shows that medical marijuana facilities do not attract crime, but are valid business establishments that operate in accordance with the law. Medical marijuana facilities, if operating under proper zoning requirements, are good for communities. They reduce overall crime rates by taking up vacant property, and provide patients a safer alternative for obtaining medical marijuana when compared to the illicit market. By taking the criminal element out of medical marijuana, you eliminate environments that cultivate crime in the first place.
FAQs for law enforcement
How do I verify that someone is a registered patient?
The Illinois Department of Public Health maintains a directory of registered patients that is available to regulators and law enforcement. Registered patients are also issued an identification card that can be used to prove their status as a registered patient.
How much cannabis are patients allowed to legally possess?
Illinois law allows registered medical marijuana patients or their designated caregivers to purchase and possess no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a 14-day period. The pre-mixed weight of medical cannabis used in making a cannabis-infused product is applied toward that possession-and-purchase limit.
FAQs for town officials/regulators
What makes Mission unique compared to other dispensaries?
Mission strives to be a best-in-class business and always considers the needs of its patients and the community it operates in.
What kind of clientele will your facility draw?
Our patients come from all walks of life. Medical cannabis is utilized by a diverse group of people who have realized its potential. The average age of medical cannabis patients varies by state, but your average patient is typically much older than one may assume.