Gov. J.B. Pritzker inked a bill that allows residents to buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis and non-residents can have up to 15 grams. Illinois became the 11th state to approve legal marijuana in the U.S. when the bill was signed. This was promised in Pritzker’s campaign, and it’s also going to provide a statewide cannabis marketplace. Additionally, over 800,000 people who have a criminal record for buying or possessing 30 grams of weed or less will have their record entirely expunged.
Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Sales
If you are an adult 21 years of age or older, you can buy at approved dispensaries once they are established with proper licenses, which could start as soon as January 1, 2020. Until then, it will be a crime to possess marijuana.
I’m totally on board with the next part of the report I read on Fox, where it talked about how this campaign capitalized on the sentiment that law enforcement simply had better things to do other than round up pot smokers and that the state could benefit from the taxation just like it does with tobacco and alcohol.
This could generate between $800 million and $1 Billion yearly, and dispensary licensing alone could produce $170 million.
With ten other states already having done this, as well as the District of Columbia, since 2012, Illinois is the only one to have a statewide marketplace, which makes this deal unique.
It’s a shame that New York and New Jersey both failed this spring in their efforts to get legal marijuana, as well as the Pennsylvania attempt last winter.
I’ll keep my pulse on this news, as well as other states that are coming up on legalizing marijuana. Until then, keep following your local laws!