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Updates to the Opioid Alertnative Pilot Program (OAPP) and changes to the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP)

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.


  • The current goal is provisional and immediate access for all electronic applicants after January 31st, 2019. To gain immediate access electronically, please schedule an appointment with your physician and ensure he or she has submitted his or her information online to register with the program. 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 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 physician’s 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.

    **If you have already submitted an electronic application for the MCPP prior to January 31st, 2019 please DO NOT submit a second application. Applications are non-refundable, and you will be charged twice.



    1. Applicants must be 21 years of age at time of registration.  
    2. Currently ,OAPP applicants do not have the option of adding a caregiver. We will update you if at any point in time this changes.  
    3. Neither OAPP applicants or traditional MCPP participants may hold a Commercial Drivers License or School Bus Permit.  
    4. 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.  
    5. OAPP patients will apply using an online application system through the state of Illinois. They will need the following information to complete their application:
      1. Name, address, and general information
        2. Passport style photo
        3. State issued ID
        4. Proof of residency (bill or statement matching the address on your ID)
        5. Your physician’s information
        6. 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)
        7. $10 application fee paid to the State of Illinois via electronic payment 8. A private email address to receive your patient ID via email  
    6. 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.  
    7. Patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days, with concentrates and edibles subtracting from that limit according to state developed algorithms.  
    8. No plastic or hard cards will be given for the OAPP, only paper cards delivered via email

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    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 follow Thrive’s website and social media outlets as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health website for updated information as it is released.

    Additionally, both our Thrive Anna and Thrive Harrisburg have a public access lobby areas.  For those that are intimidated by the process or don’t have access to a computer and scanner, we are happy to assist!! Call and schedule an appointment to ensure you will be seen right away! 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.

    *NOTICE: IDPH will be launching the provision access component of the traditional Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) on 1/31/2019 at the same time as we launch the Opioid Alernative Pilot Program. Persons who apply on-line for MCPP will be issued an eRegistry Card to enter their dispensary within 24 hours of submitting their application. For those persons who applied on-line between Deceber 1, 2019 (when our rules became effective) and January 31, 2019, will be issued a provisional registry card on 2/1/2019, if they have a valid email in the registration system.

    OAPP Patient Brochure

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    Learn more about OAPP