Legal Standing of Cannabis for Illinois

With the passing of House Bill 1438, the state of Illinois has moved to having legal recreational, adult-use cannabis. On May 31, Illinois approved a plan that will allow the sale of legal recreational marijuana (21-and-older) on Jan. 1, 2020.

Here are some other facts — via — that further explain the details of Illinois’ recent actions. Below are the current medical marijuana laws, which remain in effect until Jan. 2020.

When can I buy marijuana in Illinois?

Consumers will be able to buy marijuana for recreational use from licensed sellers on Jan. 1, 2020.

Who can buy marijuana?

Consumers aged 21 and older will be able to buy marijuana products from licensed sellers in Illinois – with or without a medical marijuana card.

Who can sell marijuana legally?

Medical marijuana dispensaries will be the only legal sellers of marijuana for recreational use in January 2020. Beginning in mid-2020, Illinois will grant additional licenses to dozens of new stores, processors, cultivators and transporters.

Up to 295 stores could be in operation in Illinois by 2022, according to Marijuana Business Daily. But county and municipal governments will have the power to decide whether to allow sellers to operate in their area.

How much can I possess?

Illinoisans will be able to legally possess 30 grams, or about an ounce, of cannabis flower. The legal limit for cannabis concentrate is 5 grams. And the limit for cannabis-infused products, such as edibles or tinctures, is 500 milligrams of THC, the chemical that gets users high. Illinois visitors will be allowed to possess half of those amounts.

Where can I smoke legally?

It will be legal to smoke in one’s own home and on-site in some cannabis-related businesses.

Use is prohibited in:

  • Any public place, such as streets or parks
  • In any motor vehicle
  • On school grounds, with the exception of medical users
  • Near someone under the age of 21
  • Near an on-duty school bus driver, police officer, firefighter or corrections officer

Any person, business or landlord can prohibit use on private property. Illinois colleges and universities will also be allowed to ban marijuana use.

Can I grow marijuana?

Medical marijuana patients would be allowed to grow five plants at a time. But non-patients are not allowed to grow marijuana at home – punishable by a civil penalty of $200 for growing up to five plants.

Only Illinois’ 20 existing licensed medical marijuana cultivation facilities will be licensed to grow marijuana initially. In 2020, “craft growers” will be able to apply for licenses to cultivate up to 5,000 square feet.

How will it be taxed?

Purchases of cannabis flower or products with less than 35% THC are slapped with a 10% tax. Cannabis-infused products such as edibles come with a 20% tax. Products with a THC concentration higher than 35% come with a 25% tax. Illinois municipalities and counties will be able to levy additional local taxes.

What happens to criminal records related to marijuana?

People convicted for possession of under 30 grams of marijuana prior to legalization would have their records referred to the state’s Prisoner Review Board and then to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a pardon – as long as those convictions were not associated with a violent crime. If the governor grants the pardon, the Illinois attorney general would then seek expungement.

Those convicted for possession between 30 to 500 grams would have the option of petitioning for expungement themselves. Local state’s attorneys could also pursue expungement for those convictions on a case-by-case basis.

What about driving under the influence?

Illinois already has a law on the books that makes drivers with THC blood concentration of five nanograms or more per milliliter guilty of driving under the influence, regardless of whether the driver is impaired. The new law creates a DUI Task Force led by Illinois State Police to examine best practices for roadside testing.


Illinois Marijuana / Cannabis Medical Use Law: Legal

  • The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was in 2013. The Act legalizes the use of medical cannabis. In August 2013, it was signed into law the state’s medical marijuana program.
  • Must possess a medical cannabis registry identification card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • A registered qualifying patient may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis during a 14-day period. This amount of medical cannabis, called the “adequate supply,” is defined in Section 10 of the Act.
  • Purchases of medical cannabis can only be made at a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.
  • The registered patient’s physician may submit a signed, written statement asserting that in the physician’s professional judgment, 2.5 ounces is an insufficient adequate supply to properly alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient’s debilitating medical condition.

Illinois Recreational Marijuana / Cannabis Recreational Use Law: Illegal

  • The use of recreational marijuana is illegal in Illinois
  • In July 2016, Illinois decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana

Medical Marijuana In Illinois

On August 1, 2013, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (“Act”), Public Act 98-0122, became effective. The Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program allows persons who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition to register with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in order to obtain access to cannabis (marijuana) for medical use. Currently, 28 states and Washington, DC have legalized the medical use of cannabis.

An individual diagnosed with one or more debilitating conditions is eligible to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. The qualifying patient must obtain a written certification from a physician specifying their debilitating condition unless they are a veteran receiving health services at a VA facility. Veterans must submit one year of medical records from the VA facility where they receive services. Effective January 1, 2015, the Act was amended to include eligibility for children under age 18 and to add seizure disorders to the list of debilitating conditions. On June 30, 2016, the Act was amended (Public Act 099-0519) to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a debilitating condition and to allow persons diagnosed with a terminal illness to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. The Act is effective until July 1, 2020.