Medical Marijuana Certification and Your Doctor

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

A new study links access to medical marijuana to reduced rates of opioid abuse and overdose! Published in 2014 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), research revealed that, not only did states with medical marijuana programs have an average of 25% fewer deaths related to opioid overdose compared to those that still criminalized its use, but this percentage grew each year between 1999 and 2010. This evidence reflects a major advantage of Medical Marijuana programs in the realm of public health and a hopeful alternative for patients who suffer from chronic pain.

Doctors Do Not Feel Comfortable with Medical Marijuana

In Illinois, the medical marijuana program, also known as the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, went into effect on January 1, 2014. Since then, nearly 30,000 patients have begun the application process with only 3,600 of them approved. While there are many steps in completing the application for Medical Marijuana certification, one of the most frequent reasons for rejection is the lack of a “bona fide physician-patient relationship”. However, as most providers in Illinois are not in support of the use of MM, many patients reach a dead end when they bring up this treatment alternative to their primary care doctors. So, they resort to so-called “pot doctors” who build an entire practice around Medical Marijuana certification, “who may be unmotivated to follow up on patients’ overall health concerns” (Associated Press).

As seen on 02/10/2016 Dr. Khare video and Chicago Tribune Article:

That’s where Innovative Express Care comes in!

Our Doctors Are Able to Give Medical Marijuana Certification to Patients

Innovative Express Care is an established urgent and primary care clinic with experienced and compassionate staff devoted to providing high quality, cost-effective care in an innovative way. We treat common and significant illnesses (fractures, lacerations, flu, dehydration, UTIs, ADHD, pink eye) on an urgent basis, but are also equipped to provide all your primary care needs. To top it off, our staff are knowledgeable on the benefits and risks of MM and on current issues surrounding Illinois’ Medical Marijuana program. Not only can we help you determine your eligibility for Medical Marijuana certification through an ongoing physician-patient relationships, but we will also help you complete the application process!


What is Needed For the Marijuana Certificate

  • You must have 1 of the medical conditions listed as required by the state of Illinois
  • You will need to provide proof of your identity, Illinois residency, and age (you must be 18 or older to be eligible for certification)
  • Other important details: fingerprinting (we actually do this in our office on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and 2×2 photo (we’ll take this for you)


I know you want to know the cost:

  1. Doctor visit #1* – We take these medical insurances.
  2. Doctor visit #2*
  3. Illinois Application Fee – good for 3 years (Illinois charges you $305 or $155 if you are on disability).
  4. Fingerprinting and background check $65

*If we do not take your insurance, you qualify for the Simple Plan, which is $150 per visit. Normally, a patient-physician relationship takes at least 2 visits, however there are cases that may take longer. This is determined by the physician on a case-by-case basis.

The total cost to get an Illinois Medical Card here in Illinois depends on your insurance. If you do not including doctor’s fees, the total price will be: $370 ($305 for Illinois certification good for 3 years and $65 for background check) or $220 if you are on disability. We understand this is expensive, but to our knowledge, we are the only office that helps you with your application (at no additional cost) and takes insurance for your physician certification.


What You Get from Us

  • We are your advocates, answering any questions regarding medical marijuana/cannabis.
  • A doctor who is knowledgeable and will honestly tell you the benefits of medical marijuana, as well as the side effects.
  • A staff who will help get your medical records after you fill out the release of medical records form.
  • We take most commercial medical insurances.

For more information, visit our Illinois Medical Card page. You can also email us for specific questions:

By: Jessica Dillon, RN and Rahul Khare, MD

Bolded conditions are most commonly seen by us.

• PTSD & Terminal Illnesses
• Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
• Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
• Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomelia
• Cachexia/wasting syndrome
• Cancer
• Causalgia
• Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
• Crohn’s disease
• CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II)
• Dystonia
• Fibromyalgia (severe)
• Fibrous dysplasia
• Glaucoma
• Hepatitis C
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
• Hydrocephalus
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Lupus
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Muscular dystrophy
• Myasthenia Gravis
• Myoclonus
• Nail-patella syndrome
• Neurofibromatosis
• Parkinson’s disease
Post-concussion syndrome
• RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I)
• Residual limb pain
• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy (Starting January 1, 2015)
• Sjogren’s syndrome
• Spinal cord disease, including, but not limited to, arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia (You must have a documented MRI showing herniated disc)
Spinal cord injury
• Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
• Tourette’s syndrome
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

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