On August 28th, 2018, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 336, the Alternatives to Opioids Act of 2018, which amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. There are several components to the provisions of Senate Bill 336 of which patients and prospective patients should be aware.
- Fingerprinting is no longer needed to apply for the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) or the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP).
- Excluded offenses that previously limited the participation of certain prospective patients has been removed. All prospective patients may now apply.
- Creates the OAPP which allows patients that currently have or qualify for an opioid prescription the alternative to treat their condition with medical cannabis.
- Allows provisional and immediate access for all electronic applicants after January 31st, 2019. As long as your physician has submitted his paperwork and your application is done electronically, patients will be able to receive either a temporary ID card (for MCPP patients) or their actual ID card (for OAPP patients) and access a licensed dispensary almost immediately.
For Opioid Participants – What You Need to Know
- The OAPP is expected to go live on January 31st of 2019.
- Prospective patients will need to see their physician. The physician will have to register with the state and submit the required paperwork using an electronic PIN. Use the Contact Us page to request a list of participating physicians within the state. We have no relationship with any licensed physicians.
- OAPP patients will apply using an online application system through the state of Illinois. They will need the following information to complete their application:
- Name, address, and general information
- Passport style photo
- State issued ID
- Proof of residency (bill or statement matching the address on your ID)
- Your physician’s information
- Your desired dispensary (please note, due to the state system, opioid patients will not be able to switch dispensaries and must stick with their original chosen provider. When reapplying, patients may switch at that time, which is every 90 days)
- $10 application fee paid to the State of Illinois via electronic payment
- A private email address to receive your patient ID via email
- After applying, the state will verify your information and match it to your physician’s submission. Within minutes, you will be emailed your patient ID and will be able to purchase from a licensed dispensary which is valid for 90 days.
- Patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days, with concentrates and edibles subtracting from that limit according to state developed algorithms.
- No plastic or hard cards will be given for the OAPP, only paper cards delivered via email.
For MCPP Participants – What You Need to Know
For current MCPP patients that already have their cards, there are no immediate changes. Stop by and visit your selected dispensary just as you always have.
For prospective patients that apply online after January 31st, 2019, these patients will gain ‘provisional’ access to licensed dispensaries immediately assuming all documents have been uploaded. The state system will verify your documentation when submitted, compare to your physicians submission, and email a temporary patient card within minutes to allow access to licensed dispensaries.
Prospective patients are no longer limited by excluded offenses (felony, drug, and domestic violence convictions) and no longer require fingerprints for their application. These changes are active immediately.
For More Information
The Illinois Department of Health is still working on the implementation and launch of this process and program changes. We will keep patients informed as more information is delivered, including the website for OAPP patient applications when it becomes available.
Please visit our Patient’s page for more information which will be updated as it becomes available, and follow our social media for additional updates.
Additionally, The Dispensary Fulton in District 1 has a public access lobby area. For those that are intimidated by the process or don’t have access to a computer and scanner, we are happy to assist. Bring a state issued ID and your application materials, and our staff will help you apply, including scanning any documents, taking your picture for the passport photo, and assisting with your application submission.
Please remember, your physician must submit his paperwork prior to your final approval. We can help you start your application prior to your physician submitting his paperwork; however, you will not be able to complete the process until the physician has uploaded the necessary documents to the state application system and entered their registration PIN.
Come in, sit down, ask questions about the program, and apply. We are here to assist.