As of 2023, the cannabis laws in Illinois allow for both medical and recreational use of marijuana, subject to certain restrictions and regulations.
Recently there has been a lot of power behind the cannabis legalization movement. As a result of this push towards the change of laws in Illinois, cannabis is here to stay. So how have cannabis laws in Illinois evolved since the legalization of medical in 2013 and adult use in 2020?
1. Most conditions qualify for medical cannabis, including Chronic pain.
Medical cannabis has become a staple in the medicine cabinet, and luckily for Illinois, most people in the state now qualify to obtain a card. So if you suffer from pain, trauma, and other debilitating symptoms, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for a card. At Compassionate Clinics of America, our certification process promises you that if you don’t qualify, you don’t pay! With the ability to access marijuana as a treatment, many people in Illinois can now benefit from a medicine they previously could not easily access.
It’s essential to recognize that this is a significant achievement for the state of Illinois because, just ten years ago, most people were still not even openly talking about cannabis.
2. Medical Cannabis Patients Can Grow Up to 5 Plants at Home
That’s right – as a medical cannabis patient, you can grow your own medicine. The state of Illinois allows you to have up to 5 plants that are over 5 inches tall. That means you can grow five trees any height you want and have as many other little plants under 5 inches ready to replace any of your five plants at any given time. Did you know cannabis can grow over 10 feet tall in the right conditions? The sky is the limit here.
3. New Dispensaries are Adult Use Only Stores
One of the biggest gripes with the cannabis industry has been its lack of inclusivity. Heavily targeted by the war on drugs, minorities are often under-represented in the business of marijuana dispensaries.
This is due to previous criminal arrests or convictions resulting from the possession or sale of cannabis. However, Illinois’ social equity program has started to change things around by allowing people impacted by the war on drugs to benefit from the cannabis industry by being able to operate a licensed business in retail, transport, or cultivation.
Despite this, many newly licensed operators struggle to raise funds, build their businesses and become operational. In addition, if and once they do, they will only be able to sell to adult-use customers and not medical patients (unless they pay recreational prices!)
Read more about the benefits of medical vs. recreational cannabis in Illinois.
4. Taxes & Community Reinvestment
The new marijuana law also states that ¼ of the state tax revenue generated from this industry will be used to redevelop impoverished communities. This aspect of the law is geared towards helping those communities who have experienced targeting due to the war on drugs. One of the main driving points for states to legalize recreational marijuana is to generate tax revenue.
Although no one knows the exact amount that will be generated as a result of this new industry, it is estimated that within five years, the taxation of marijuana will generate $500 million annually. There will be a 7% tax on cannabis and cannabis products at the wholesale level. However, regarding retail tax, Illinois is taking its own approach.
Instead of having a general set retail tax, as you find in most marijuana-friendly states, the tax rate will coincide with the product’s potency. Meaning the higher the THC levels, the higher the tax.
For products containing 35% THC or less, only a 10% tax would be applied. Edibles or other products infused with THC will receive a 20% tax. A 25% tax will be applied to any product with a THC concentration of over 35%, and all of these taxes will be used in addition to the state tax, which is 6.25%.
This tax revenue, as previously mentioned, is going to be used to help minority communities within the state that are suffering from poverty. The revenue will also be used to pay for the expungement of criminal records and mental health and substance abuse services.
5. Possession Limits Have Changed
The new law passed in Illinois permits residents 21 years old and up to possess marijuana for recreational purposes. This law takes effect in 2020 and will allow residents to have up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 500 milligrams of THC products, and up to 5 grams of marijuana concentrates. Non-residents are also permitted 15 grams of flower.
It’s worth noting that laws and regulations related to cannabis use are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to consult with a legal expert or government agency for the most up-to-date information.
6. Social Consumption & Mobile Lounges
Under the law, adults aged 21 and over may legally possess and consume cannabis in private spaces and purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. Medical marijuana patients with valid registry identification cards may also legally possess and use marijuana for medical purposes. However, it is still illegal to consume cannabis in public, operate a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis, and possess more than a certain amount of marijuana at one time.
It is allowed within the comfort of your home just as long as your neighbors outside can’t see. And any person or business owner is also allowed to prohibit use on their private property. The law also includes regulations for cannabis dispensaries, cultivation centers, and other businesses producing and distributing marijuana products. Some of them are allowed to set up consumption lounges.
However, laws will vary slightly depending on the county. Counties have the right to ban marijuana businesses, but luckily, they aren’t allowed to ban personal possession.
Enjoy the New Illinois Cannabis Laws
The new laws that have passed regarding Illinois recreational weed are genuinely groundbreaking.
Although Illinois was the 11th state to legalize marijuana, their focus on using this industry to help those who have experienced harm from harsh drug laws in the past is unique to any of the cannabis legalization we’ve seen thus far. As a resident or visitor of Illinois, you can now enjoy all the benefits of cannabis. Are you considering getting a medical marijuana card?
You will have access to better products, receive priority on inventory, save on taxes, and grow your own!