Recreational Marijuana In Illinois: What You Need To Know
There’s a lot people need to know before lighting up, especially those of you who cross the border to buy it.
On January 1st, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana sales and use. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act was passed in 2014, however, only recently have medical cannabis dispensaries in the land of Lincoln opened their doors to patients.
Who will be able to purchase marijuana?
You must be 21 or older, the same age for smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol in Illinois. (Bring a government-issued ID verifying age and home address.) Out-of-state residents are more limited in how much product they can buy.
You must be in the state of Illinois to legally consume its marijuana. Transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal, even if it was purchased legally. Make sure to know you state’s cannabis laws and regulations before crossing state lines!
How much can be purchased and possessed?
Under the law, Illinois residents age 21 and over may possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 mg of THC in a cannabis-infused product, like edibles, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate in total. (Concentrates are often described in the pot community as dab, shatter or wax. They’re typically vaporized in pens but concentrates can take other forms, as well.)
Nonresidents age 21 and older can have 15 grams of weed, 250 mg of infusions, and 2.5 grams of concentrate.
The totals are cumulative, so an Illinois resident could have 30 grams of flower, 500 mg of infused product and 5 grams of concentrate all at the same time. The same goes for nonresidents and their limits.
Where can I purchase in Illinois?
A list of licensed dispensaries can be found at the state’s website: idfpr.com/profs/adultusecan.asp.
Of the 37 facilities licensed for recreational sales in Illinois, 24 are located in Chicago or in the Chicago area. Champaign-Urbana, Peoria and Springfield all have two dispensaries nearby. Cities or metro areas with one dispensary include Carbondale, Effingham, Ottawa, the Quad Cities, Quincy and Rockford.
Where can marijuana be smoked legally in Illinois?
Just because it’s now legal, you still cannot be strolling the streets smoking a joint…sorry for the sad news. You can smoke in your own home or in private residences. Illinois outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants in 2008. The Illinois cannabis law allows on-site lighting up at dispensaries where pot is sold or at licensed smoke shops.
How is Illinois taxing marijuana?
The higher you get, the higher the price $$
• Cannabis products with a THC level of 35% or less: 10%
• All cannabis-infused products, like edibles: 20%
• Cannabis products with a THC level of 35% or higher: 25%
If you think those taxes are high….State and local taxes will also apply. Depending on what you purchase, you can be looking to spend between $150 – $250. The state law allows for municipalities to tax up to 3% and the Illinois sales tax is currently 6.25%.
Who can sell marijuana legally?
Illinois became the country’s first state to legalize recreational marijuana cultivation and sales through its Legislature, a landmark move that paves the way for the creation of one of the nation’s largest adult-use cannabis markets offering “huge” business opportunities.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are the only legal sellers of marijuana for recreational use in January 2020. Beginning in mid-2020, Illinois will grant additional licenses to dozens of new stores, processors, cultivators and transporters.
Marijuana Business Daily projects the Illinois rec market potentially will eclipse $2 billion in annual sales a few years after the program launches in early 2020, possibly reaching $2.5 billion a year depending on the number of tourists who make purchases.
What should I do with product when I leave the dispensary?
If cannabis is in a vehicle, it must be “in a reasonably secured, sealed container and reasonably inaccessible while the vehicle is moving.” It’s recommend people transport their cannabis products in the trunk of their vehicle, and keep it in the sealed container that it was purchased in.
Can a police officer search me or my car if they smell cannabis?
Yes. Under Illinois law, the smell of cannabis is still probable cause to conduct a search.
Can I be arrested for DUI for being under the influence of cannabis?
Yes, if you are impaired. If a driver has 5 nanograms of THC in the blood, there is a presumption of impairment.
What about my job? Can my boss still fire me even though marijuana is legal?
Yes. The state cannabis law gives Illinois employers a lot of room to keep drug-free policies if they want them. Not every employer will decide to limit marijuana use among its workers. It’s best to check what your company’s specific drug policies are with your boss or human resources department before consuming in the new year.
If you’re thinking about trying cannabis for the first time, make sure you are mentally prepared. Take a friend or family member with you if need be, educate yourself about the different strains…edible dosage…concentrates and so forth.
Don’t be afraid to ask the dispensary questions about their products and which ones may or may not be a good fit for you. If you’re not looking for edibles, make sure you have the appropriate means of smoking cannabis. That can either be glass pieces like bongs, rigs and bowls. Rolling papers and hemp wraps are also a great option when using cannabis nugs versus oils and concentrates. Since we’re on the topic of paper products…. make sure to check out Kashmir Rolling Papers! We have everything you may need! Whether you’re a first time smoker or an experienced one, we have papers, hemp wraps, smoking and rolling accessories…so something for everyone. 😉
Lastly, make sure you have the financial ability to purchase…. cause it ain’t cheap! XD
Stay safe, enjoy, and happy smoking Illinois residents!