CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation legalizing the adult use of marijuana and regulating its commercial production and retail sale. Illinois is now the eleventh state to legalize adult-use marijuana, and it is the second state to legalize marijuana use via legislative action rather than by voter initiative.
The Prairie State is the first state to legislatively regulate cannabis sales.
“Today, Illinois residents and political leaders demonstrated the power of democracy in action, using the political process to achieve sensible policies that protect individual freedoms and that ensure community safety,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Governor Pritzker and legislators in Illinois have laid out a path forward for states like New York, New Jersey, and others to emulate in the national movement towards comprehensive marijuana law reform.”
Beginning January 1, 2020, Illinois residents who are 21 or older may legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, while those visiting from out-of-state may legally possess half that amount.
Patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program will be legally permitted for the first time to personally cultivate up to five marijuana plants. Non-patients face civil fines of no more than $200 for growing personal use quantities of cannabis.
Under current law, minor marijuana cultivation offenses are punishable by up to one-year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
The bill establishes procedures for the automatic expungement of low-level minor convictions (possession up to 30 grams) and facilitates a process for the expungement of cases involving the possession of up to 500 grams.
Under the plan, licensed medical dispensaries will have the first opportunity to engage in adult-use marijuana sales. New applicants will be able to access low-interest loans in order to defray start-up costs.