Illinois pronounced medical cannabis lawful in 2013 and made recreational marijuana legalized in 2020. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. It was a high spot in the history of Illinois because it became the first state in the nation that made cannabis legal through a state legislature rather than a ballot initiative. This post will be helpful for people planning to visit the Land of Lincoln and have no law problems.
Possession and Purchase Limits
So, private consumption of weed in Illinois is now legal. When the law came into effect, and recreational weed products hit dispensaries’ shelves, the first month brought Illinois companies over $39 million. In March 2022, that number skyrocketed to more than $130 million and reached $132 million in April.
Since recreational weed use is becoming immensely popular, let’s discuss the possession/purchase limits and transportation rules.
The state residents 21 and older can buy and possess:
- 1 ounce of dried weed flowers;
- Or 0.18 ounce of cannabis concentrate;
- Or cannabis-infused products that contain no more than 500 mg THC.
The possession limit for medical marijuana (MMJ) patients is 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for a period of 14 days.
The state visitors have different purchase and possession limits that are half the amount of Illinois residents:
- 5 ounce of dried weed flowers;
- Or 0.09 ounce of cannabis concentrate;
- Or cannabis-infused products that contain no more than 250 mg THC.
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in Illinois reported that adult-use marijuana sales were $91 million in April 2022, with $41 million coming from out-of-state visitors (these numbers don’t include MMJ products, which are reported by a different state agency). Some dispensaries are required to reserve a specific supply to ensure non-interrupted access to weed products for MMJ patients. Most dispensaries like Maribis Lindbergh hold a dual license and are authorized to sell cannabis for medical and recreational use.
Cannabis can be transported inside a vehicle if kept in a sealed, odor-proof container and inaccessible to the driver while the car is moving. Also, weed should not be left in a rented car. Transportation of marijuana across the state borders is prohibited.
Immigrants and non-U.S. citizens are not permitted to possess, use, and buy any amount of marijuana. Since it is illegal under federal law, it could affect their immigration status and result in deportation.
Public cannabis consumption is outlawed. The list of places where smoking weed is prohibited is as follows:
- Any public areas (schools, colleges, parks, streets, bus stations, shopping malls, beaches, outdoor stairwells, etc.);
- Any private property if the owner doesn’t approve the use;
- In close proximity to individuals younger than 21, even on the approved territory;
- Near an on-duty firefighter, enforcement/correctional officer, school bus driver, etc.;
- In motorized vehicles (including boats) and the parking lot by both drivers and passengers;
- In locations prohibited by the Smoke Free Illinois Act;
- On federal lands (national parks, forests, monuments, etc.)
Smoking is allowed in the following areas:
- Within your private home and outside in the backyard;
- In a weed dispensary in Illinois with approved on-site consumption;
- On any private property, if the owner (your friend, landlord, business) approves the use;
- In smoker-friendly marijuana cafes, lounges, hotels, and weed-centered businesses.
In single cases, the language of the statute may be unclear, and some jurisdictions can interpret the law differently. Future guidance from the courts or the legislature can be required to clarify the issue.
Medical Marijuana Program
Individuals with debilitating medical conditions 18 and older can register in the state program, obtain an MMJ card, and buy cannabis in dispensaries. Caregivers are appointed to minor MMJ patients to assist them in weed purchase and use. This program is valid only for Illinois residents. Since Illinois doesn’t support cannabis reciprocity, it doesn’t accept out-of-state medical cards.
Patients can get an MMJ card in Illinois in a few steps if they:
- Are diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition or have a terminal illness
- Get a signed prescription from a qualified doctor
- Register and apply for the state medical program
- Pay the registration fee.
The list of all debilitating conditions defined as qualifying is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health website. People employed as active duty enforcement/probation/correctional officers and bus and commercial drivers cannot get medical cards.
Patients have to pay a fee for the registration process, but veterans and patients with disabilities are eligible for a 50% fee reduction rate. The stages of the registration process for caregivers are similar.
Can you grow weed in Illinois? According to the state marijuana laws, only registered medical consumers and their caregivers are allowed to grow cannabis for their own use. The cultivation limit per household is 5 plants of 5 inches or taller, regardless of the number of MMJ patients living in a house.
The plants should grow in a place secure from unauthorized access and out of public view, and the crop volume cannot exceed the patient’s possession limit. Cultivation sites can be located in private and rented houses upon the landlord’s permit. Growers who violate these rules are liable for penalties and lose home cultivation privileges. Recreational consumers are prohibited from growing weed at home.
These are the focal points that highlight the current state of things in the marijuana business in Illinois. The cannabis market for the general population in Illinois is still taking shape, and the sales are on the rise now. With respect to cannabis tax revenue, the state uses a part of this money to fund various marijuana-related initiatives and support programs. In the second round of funding, Illinois launched the R3 program (Restore, Reinvest, and Renew) to provide disadvantaged people with legal aid, financial support, youth development, etc. More social projects are expected!