Illinois Legalizes Cannabis

Illinois has become the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize cannabis.

Governor J.B. Pritzker stated during his inaugural address earlier this year that he would be working toward legalizing cannabis in Illinois.

“In the interests of keeping the public safe from harm,” said Governor Pritzker. “And in the interests of expanding true justice in our criminal justice system and advancing economic inclusion. I will work with the legislature to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois.”

Governor Pritzker fulfilled his promise on Tuesday by signing HB1438, which passed the full legislature in May.

Under the new law, adults over the age of 21 will be permitted to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, five grams of concentrates, and up to 500 mg of THC-infused products.

Recreational consumers will not be permitted to cultivate marijuana at home under the law, though medical cannabis patients are allowed to grow up to five plants.

The law initially included provisions for the expungement of hundreds of thousands of cannabis convictions in Illinois, but during negotiations, the law was changed so that convictions involving amounts of marijuana up to 30 grams would be handled through governor’s clemency which does not require individuals to initiate the process.

Individuals or the state’s attorney can also petition the court for expungement for convictions involving amounts up to 500 grams.

Having gained Governor Pritzker’s signature, the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020.