Physicians are the gatekeepers to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, and play an intricate role in the path to safe access for patients. MCAI is dedicated to helping guide physicians through the process by providing aid through information. Our staff has met with numerous medical groups, hospitals, and offices to explain the inner workings of the program. CONTACT US to request specific information, or to set up a date for MCAI to give a presentation to your medical group, hospital, or office.
Are your patients interested in registering for the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, but have questions about the process? MCAI is here to make that process easier. See our QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FLYER to see what conditions are eligible and learn about the four step application process. For more information about the role of physicians Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, see our PHYSICIAN BROCHURE.
Section 946.310 Physician Written Certification
a) A certification indicating that a qualifying patient is recommended for the use of medical cannabis shall be written on a form provided by the Department and shall include, at minimum, the following:
1) The qualifying patient’s name, date of birth, home address and primary telephone number;
2) The physician’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, medical license number, indication of specialty or primary area of clinical practice, if any, and DEA registration number;
3) The length of time the qualifying patient has been under the care of the physician;
4) The qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition;
5) Additional comments, if necessary, that would be useful in assessing the qualifying patient’s application for use of medical cannabis;
6) A statement that the physician has confirmed a diagnosis of a debilitating medical condition; has a bona-fide physician-patient relationship; has conducted an in-person physical examination; has conducted a review of the patient’s medical history, including reviewing medical records from other treating physicians, if any, from the previous 12 months; and has explained the potential risks and benefits of the use of medical cannabis to the qualifying patient; and
7) The physician’s signature and date.
b) A patient may apply for a waiver where a physician provides a substantial medical basis in a signed, written statement asserting that, based on the patient’s medical history, in the physician’s professional judgment, 2.5 ounces is an insufficient adequate supply for a 14-day period to properly alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition. (Section 10(a)(2) of the Act)
1) The waiver recommendation shall be on a Physician Waiver Recommendation form provided by the Department.
2) The waiver shall describe in the physician’s professional opinion why 2.5 ounces is an insufficient supply for a 14-day period.
3) The waiver shall describe how the qualifying patient will benefit from an increased supply.
4) The waiver shall include a statement by the physician indicating the amount of medical cannabis that would be a sufficient supply for the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition and provide a recommendation for the length of time the waiver should be in effect.
5) If the Department approves the waiver, the amount of medical cannabis recommended by the physician shall be noted on the registry identification card.Section 946.320 Records Maintained by the Physician and Department
A physician certifying the use of medical cannabis by a qualifying patient shall establish a medical record for the qualifying patient with regard to his or her medical condition and his or her continued treatment for the condition or conditions under the physician’s care. The physician shall maintain a record-keeping system for all patients for whom the physician has recommended the use of medical cannabis. These records shall be accessible to and subject to review by the Departments of Public Health and Financial and Professional Regulation upon request. (Section 35 of the Act) These records do not need to be maintained separately from the established records the physician maintains on the patient during the course of the ongoing bona-fide physician-patient relationship.
a) In addition to records required to be maintained pursuant to the Medical Practice Act of 1987 and all applicable rules, the records shall accurately reflect the evaluation and treatment of the qualifying patient, and shall include the following as applicable:
1) The patient’s name and the date or dates of visits and treatment;
2) The patient’s medical history and updated health history;
3) Documented results of a full assessment of the patient’s medical history, including review of medical records from other treating physicians from the previous 12 months;
4) A description of the patient’s current medical condition;
5) Documented results of the physician’s physical examination of the patient;
6) A treatment plan;
7) General consent for treatment;
8) Diagnosis and treatment rendered;
9) A list of the drugs prescribed, administered and dispensed, and the quantity of the drugs;
10) Radiographs and diagnostic tests;
11) Patient financial and billing records;
12) The name of the physician or assistive personnel providing services; and
13) Laboratory results.
b) The records for each qualifying patient for whom the physician has certified medical cannabis shall be kept for a minimum of three years after the physician last sees the patient.
c) The Department will maintain a confidential record of each certifying physician for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the Act. This confidential record will not be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
*NOTE: The Physician Certification Form must be submitted within 90 days of patient registration.
Section 946.300 Qualifications of the Certifying Physician
a) A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who has current, valid license under the Medical Practice Act of 1987 and has a current valid controlled substances license under Article III of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and DEA registration may recommend the use of medical cannabis to a qualifying patient if the physician:
1) Is in a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient. The bona-fide physician-patient relationship may not be limited to a certification for the patient to use medical cannabis or a consultation simply for that purpose.
2) Complies with generally accepted standards of medical practice, the Medical Practice Act of 1987 and applicable State and federal rules specific to physician practice (e.g., HIPAA rules).
3) Has responsibility for the ongoing care and treatment of the qualifying patient’s debilitating condition, provided that the ongoing treatment and care shall not be limited to or for the primary purpose of certifying a debilitating medical condition or providing a consultation solely for that purpose.
4) Has completed an in-person full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination, not more than 90 days prior to making the certification for medical cannabis. The assessment of the qualifying patient’s current medical condition shall include, but not be limited to, symptoms, signs and diagnostic testing related to the debilitating medical condition.
5) Certifies that the qualifying patient is under the physician’s care, either for the qualifying patient’s primary care or for his or her debilitating medical condition.
6) Confirms that he or she completed an assessment for the qualifying patient’s medical history, including reviewing medical records from other treating physicians from the previous 12 months.
7) Explains the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis to the qualifying patient.
b) The physician shall not:
1) Except as provided in subsection (c), accept, solicit, or offer any form of remuneration from or to a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, cultivation center, or dispensing organization, including each principal officer, board member, agent, and employee;
2) Offer a discount or any other item of value to a qualifying patient who uses or agrees to use a particular primary caregiver or dispensing organization to obtain medical cannabis;
3) Conduct a personal, in person, physical examination of a patient for purposes of diagnosing a debilitating medical condition at a location where medical cannabis is sold or distributed or at the address of a principal officer, agency, or employee or a medical cannabis organization;
4) Hold a direct or indirect economic interest in a cultivation center or dispensing organization if he or she recommends the use of medical cannabis to qualified patients or is in a partnership with a physician who recommends medical cannabis;
5) Serve on the board of directors or as an employee of a cultivation center or dispensing organization;
6) Refer qualifying patients to a cultivation center, a dispensing organization, or an individual who seeks to become a designated caregiver;
7) Advertise in a cultivation center or a dispensing organization.
c) The physician may accept payment from a qualifying patient for the fee associated with the personal physical examination required prior to issuing the written certification for the qualifying patient.
(410 ILCS 130/) Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act
(g) State law should make a distinction between the medical and non-medical uses of cannabis. Hence, the purpose of this Act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if the patients engage in the medical use of cannabis.
Sec. 25. Immunities and presumptions related to the medical use of cannabis. :
(e) A physician is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Medical Disciplinary Board or by any other occupational or professional licensing board, solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the physician’s professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, provided that nothing shall prevent a professional licensing or disciplinary board from sanctioning a physician for: (1) issuing a written certification to a patient who is not under the physician’s care for a debilitating medical condition; or (2) failing to properly evaluate a patient’s medical condition or otherwise violating the standard of care for evaluating medical conditions.