This past Friday, lawmakers in Illinois approved a measure legalizing the sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21 with the House of Representatives voting 66-47 to allow possession and sales beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The Senate had approved the measure earlier in the week.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker plans to sign the bill into law, which would make Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis in the US and only the second time a legislature has legalized marijuana, following Vermont in 2018, which passed a measure allowing possession and limited cultivation of cannabis.
Illinois residents age 21 and over may possess up to 30 grams or about 1 ounce of flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, or 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused products. Adult visitors to the state may possess up to 15 grams of marijuana.
The marijuana measure allows the governor to pardon anyone with records of convictions for possession of 30 grams or less. It eases record-clearing for possession up to one pound (500 grams).Only the 20 existing licensed medical marijuana cultivation facilities will be licensed to grow it initially. Soon, applicants, including “craft growers”, may apply for licenses to cultivate and dispense. Medical cannabis patients will be allowed to grow up to five plants each at home.
Sales will be taxed at 10 percent for THC levels at or less than 35 percent; 20 percent for cannabis-infused products such as edibles; and 25 percent for THC concentrations of more than 35% ( in addition to standard state and local sales taxes). Municipalities may add special taxes of up to 3%, counties may add up to 3.75% in unincorporated areas, and Cook County may add up to 3% in municipalities.
The drug remains federally illegal. For the full bill, click here.