🌱It’s official as of June 25, 2019! Illinois is the 11th state to legalize adult-use (recreational) marijuana via the passage of the Cannabis Regulation & Tax Act (CRTA) on May 31, 2019. It is the first state to legalize commercial adult-use marijuana through its Legislature, versus a ballot measure. Illinois is also unlike other legal states, i.e. Alaska, as the Prairie State has a fairly short and uncomplicated history with cannabis. Between 1931 when marijuana was banned 🚫and 2013 when Illinois legalized MMJ (the 20th state to do so) also through the state legislature 🏛️, there was little activity beyond the 1978 Cannabis Control Act. The Act technically allowed MMJ, but was never enacted due to inaction by the Human Services and State Police departments🙄⠀ Cannabis was decriminalized in 2016 and the 2018 expansion of the MMJ program included marijuana as an opioid painkiller replacement
🌱Sales from Recreational-use in Illinois are expected to reach an estimated $1.6 billion a year. Beginning January 1, 2020 residents 21+ can possess up to 30 grams of flower🥦, 5 grams of concentrate 🍯, 500 mg TCH infused edibles 🍩 Being the cannabis industry, there are an abundance of regulations and a phasing-in-over-time approach. The stateThe state must establish a regulatory structure to license and regulate dispensaries, processors, cultivation centers, craft growers and transporters. Initially, the twenty licensed MMJ cultivators will serve the adult-use market 👩🌾👨🌾 This is being perceived by many as a guaranteed supply shortage, not uncommon in newly legal states, but frustrating nonetheless until more licenses are awarded “eventually”. Medical dispensaries will be the only licensed retailers of recreational cannabis until mid-2020 when the state will start issuing “dozens” of licenses to retailers, cultivators, processors and transporters. Only registered medical patients can grow at home, up to 5 plants☀️💧🏠, and non-resident visitors are limited to half of the amount of residents; 15 grams flower, 2.5 grams concentrates and 250 mg of THC infused edibles.
🌱 Illinois lawmakers are confident they have solid equity provisions in place including a “system for expungement”. Approximately 770,000 people are expected to be eligible for expungement of prior convictions under what has been described as a “possible national model for equity provisions”. Those with prior convictions for possession up to 30 grams are being automatically cleared while those with convictions up to 500 grams will have the option to petition the court.
Sources: Cannabis Business Times, wikipedia, Chicago Sun Times, ganjapreneur, Word on the Tree