Illinois begins accepting medical marijuana applications.

Today is the first day for patients to apply for medical marijuana permits.

The online applications were posted at  http://mcpp.illinois.gov around 10 a.m.

Prospective medical marijuana users with last names beginning A-L can apply online or by mail today through October. Those with last names beginning M-Z can apply in November or December.

To qualify, people must have any of about three dozen specified medical conditions, and must get a recommendation from their treating physician.

People may also get applications or information by calling the Health Department toll-free at 855-636-3688 or emailing DPH.MedicalCannabis@illinois.gov.