Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use during a ceremony in Chicago.
Legalization in IL also means that almost 800,000 people with criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers and interest groups demanded.
Adults will be able to purchase and possess 30 grams of cannabis, five grams of cannabis concentrate, and cannbis-infused products containing no more than 500 milligrams of THC. The bill, HB 1438, goes into effect January 1, 2020.
Non-residents can have 15 grams.
I'm so proud that our state is leading with equity and justice in its approach to cannabis legalization and its regulatory framework.
"As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, IL exemplifies the best of democracy: a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people", said Gov. JB Pritzker. Marijuana-related tax revenue is estimated to climb to $140.5 million in fiscal 2021 and to $375.5 million in fiscal 2024, according to Illinois' revenue department. State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Olympia Fields, said it's a generally accepted statistic that blacks are 4 ½ times more likely to be convicted of low-level pot offenses, but she didn't know if Illinois' numbers are higher than typical. And portions of tax proceeds must be reinvested in impoverished communities.
IL now joins 10 states and the District of Columbia in allowing the legal use of marijuana. They previously could not grow their own.
IL becomes the 11th state in the nation to legalize marijuana use. "Tuesday morning, the governor put pen to paper here in the Austin neighborhood, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and it's commercial sale in the state".
Marijuana-related bills were considered in 25 state legislatures this year, including in NY and New Jersey, but IL is the only one to enact a measure so far, according to advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project. Vermont did so through the Legislature, the first time it wasn't done through a ballot initiative, but didn't establish a statewide marketplace as IL did.