What Will Change With the New Illinois Cannabis Law?

Illinois drug charges expungement attorney

It is no secret that cannabis laws are changing throughout the country, with some states legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, while others continue to incriminate those found in possession of the substance. At the end of May, Illinois joined many other states by legalizing marijuana. While the drug will soon be considered legal, there will be a variety of restrictions and regulations in place. The following are frequently asked questions and answers to act as a comprehensive guide for Illinois residents.

When and Where Can I Buy Marijuana?

Consumers will be able to purchase cannabis for recreational use starting on January 1, 2020. The legal recreational sale process will begin solely through medical marijuana dispensaries in January 2020 but will expand to new stores, processors, cultivators, and transporters in mid-2020 as the state grants additional licenses. Illinois will allow up to 295 stores to operate by 2022; however, county and municipal governments will be allowed to decide whether to allow such businesses to operate in their designated area.

Who Can Buy Marijuana, and How Much Can They Possess?

Similar to alcohol purchases and consumption, customers must be at least 21 years old to purchase cannabis products from licensed sellers in the state. Unlike previous requirements, consumers do not need to have a medical marijuana card in order to purchase such products. The different forms of cannabis have specific limitations in regards to the amount someone can legally possess. Illinois state residents can possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, which is equivalent to about one ounce of greenery. Up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC within cannabis-infused products, such as edibles, can also be possessed. Visitors to Illinois are only allowed to possess half of these amounts while they are in the state.

Are There Limitations to Where I Can Smoke?

Smoking inside one’s home and at a cannabis-related business is legal; however, there are many locations in which smoking is prohibited, such as:

  • Any public place, such as streets or parks

  • Any private property that prohibits the use of marijuana

  • In any type of vehicle

  • On school grounds without a medical reason

  • In the presence of an underage person

  • In close proximity to an on-duty school bus driver and law enforcement officer

Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney 

An important part of the new Illinois marijuana legislation is how it affects those with previous drug offenses. It will allow people to automatically receive clemency for convictions of up to 30 grams of marijuana and let those with 30-500 gram convictions petition a court to have the charge lifted. An experienced attorney can help those with previous charges start over with a clean slate. At the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, we have extensive experience helping those facing drug charges and expunging records where possible. If you have been convicted of a drug charge involving cannabis, contact our St. Charles expungement lawyers at 630-232-1780 for a free consultation.