Illinois Legal Cannabis Rules & Regulations for 2020

2020 Illinois Legal Cannabis Rules & Regulations

As of January 1, 2020, recreational marijuana has been legal in Illinois. You have likely seen the news stories of millions of dollars in sales of marijuana since the new year began. Illinois became the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use. However, it is important that you understand the changes to state laws and how they can affect you.

What changes were made?

The Illinois General Assembly passed HB 1438 on May 31, 2019, and Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on June 25, 2019.

This law allows for legal marijuana usage and sale in the state for those who are over the age of 21. However, there are limits on the amount of marijuana a person may legally possess. The law states that a person can have up to 30 grams (around one ounce) of marijuana plant materials. Adults can have cannabis edibles totaling no more than 500mg of THC and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate products. Any non-Illinois residents will be able to purchase half of those amounts.

There is a graduated tax system in place for marijuana products sold in Illinois.

  • Marijuana and cannabis-infused products with less than 35% THC are taxed at 10% of the purchase price.
  • Cannabis-infused products with over 35% THC are taxed at 20% of the purchase price.
  • Marijuana with more than 35% THC is taxed at 25% of the purchase price.

Please note that medical marijuana is exempt from these taxes. Each municipality is also allowed to place additional taxes on recreational marijuana at varying increments that cannot exceed 3.75% for unincorporated county areas or 3% for municipalities located in home rule counties.

Many people have asked if they can grow marijuana, similar to other states that have legalized marijuana. In Illinois, you cannot grow marijuana for recreational use. However, those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes may grow up to five plants for personal use.

Residents of Illinois are not allowed to smoke marijuana wherever they want. Consumption of recreational marijuana is limited to private residences.

How have sales been so far?

A CNN report says that millions of dollars of recreational marijuana have been sold since the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, there were 37 dispensaries where people could purchase marijuana.

What about those jailed for marijuana before the law took effect?

The new law allows for those who were convicted of possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana prior to legalization to have their records reviewed by the Prisoner Review Board and Governor Pritzker for pardon. If a pardon is granted, then the attorney general of Illinois will move to expunge the criminal record of that offense.

For those convicted of possessing larger amounts of marijuana, individuals will have to petition for an expungement themselves.

Can you drive after using marijuana in Illinois?

Driving under the influence of marijuana will still be illegal in Illinois. Just because the product has been legalized for recreational use does not mean it will not impair driving. Passengers are also not allowed to smoke marijuana in moving vehicles, similar to the way a person cannot drink alcohol while in a vehicle. Police officers who suspect impaired driving will ask the driver to take a field sobriety test and potentially make an arrest.