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What to Know About Cannabis in Illinois

By Lucille Wood Jul1,2020

If you’re planning on visiting marijuana dispensaries in Chicago, you should first know the relevant laws in the state of Illinois and how they apply to you. As with any state, cannabis is subject to a number of laws outlining when it is or isn’t legal and the circumstances in which its use is permitted. These laws also vary depending on whether you’re using cannabis medically or recreationally, as well as whether or not you’re an Illinois resident.

Recreational Purchase and Possession

Cannabis can be legally purchased and possessed in Illinois for medical and, as of January 2020, non-medical “adult use”. Any legal US citizen 21 years or older can possess cannabis, though you’re limited to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products; out-of-state residents are limited to half this amount. The Department of Agriculture has authority over who can cultivate and sell marijuana products, with licenses being necessary for sale. Medical patients can grow up to five of their own plants, but otherwise, licensed dispensaries are the only place you can legally obtain cannabis.

Legality: When and Where

Marijuana is legal to smoke in one’s private property, as well as on-site at some cannabis-related businesses. Use in public spaces, at schools, or near on-duty officers or firefighters is prohibited. On a local level, businesses, landlords and colleges can prohibit use, while municipalities may establish lounges where cannabis use is allowed. Like alcohol, THC is subject to DUI laws, even for medical patients.

Past Convictions

With recreational usage legalized, many past incidents that were considered misdemeanors or minor felonies are no longer criminal acts. As a result, many low-level convictions and arrests are to be expunged over the course of 2020 and beyond. This means that records of these offenses are removed from public access. Only criminal cases are subject to this, while local-level civil violations are exempt.

While these regulations form the state-wide basis of legal use of cannabis, additional regulations at a city or municipal level, or on someone else’s private property, may further restrict usage. Be sure to stay informed and, if in doubt, stick to use at home unless you’re medically licensed.

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