Illinois legalized the use of recreational cannabis in 2020, making it the 11th state in the U.S. to do so. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act allows individuals aged 21 and over to legally possess and use cannabis for recreational purposes. Under the law, adults can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products, and up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Cannabis sales for adult-use began on January 1, 2020. The state currently licenses and regulates a limited number of cannabis dispensaries, and additional licenses are expected to be issued in the future. The state also requires cannabis businesses to obtain licenses and comply with certain regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements.
Cannabis products are subject to a 6.25% sales tax, and an additional excise tax based on the THC content of the product. The excise tax rate ranges from 10% to 25% depending on the product. The revenue from the taxes is used to fund various programs, including substance abuse treatment and education, law enforcement training, and community development projects.
Adults are allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for personal use, with a limit of up to five plants per household. The plants must be kept in a locked room or enclosure out of public view. Individuals who grow their own cannabis must also comply with certain regulations, such as labeling requirements and restrictions on selling or distributing the product.
The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their cannabis use, but it does not require employers to allow cannabis use or possession in the workplace. Employers are still allowed to test employees for cannabis use and enforce drug-free workplace policies.
The law includes provisions to promote social equity in the cannabis industry, such as a requirement that a portion of licenses for cannabis businesses be issued to social equity applicants. Social equity applicants include individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, as well as individuals with past cannabis convictions. The state also offers technical assistance and other resources to social equity applicants to help them navigate the licensing process.
The law also includes provisions for the expungement of certain cannabis-related criminal records. Individuals convicted of possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis can petition to have their records erased. The state has also launched a program to automatically expunge certain cannabis-related convictions from individuals’ records.
While the law allows for the legal use of cannabis, it maintains a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of cannabis. Drivers can be charged with a DUI if they have any amount of THC in their system while driving. The state has also implemented a public education campaign to raise awareness about the risks of driving under the influence of cannabis.
Overall, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois represents a significant shift in the state’s approach to cannabis use and possession. While there are still some restrictions and regulations in place, the new law is expected to have a significant impact on the state’s economy and social justice efforts. It is important for individuals to understand the specific details of the law in order to use cannabis safely and legally in Illinois.