ILLINOIS (WTWO/WAWV) — Recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois in a matter of days, but there are several restrictions involved in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act that locals should be aware of before planning their first legal purchase of cannabis.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the limitations listed in the law:
Who can purchase recreational marijuana legally?
The new law states that you must be at least 21 years old to purchase recreational marijuana. You’ll have to have proof of age at the time of purchase, and selling or distributing marijuana to anyone younger than 21 will be illegal.
You don’t have to be an Illinois resident to purchase recreational marijuana within the state, but if you cross into Indiana with any legally purchased cannabis product, that product becomes illegal again due to Indiana laws.
How much cannabis can you possess at one time?
According to the new law, Illinois residents can’t have more than 30 grams of cannabis flower (such as a plant or bud product), more than 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product, or more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate (a product that has had the cannabanoids extracted from it).
Non-Illinois residents can’t have more than 15 grams of cannabis flower, more than 250 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product, or more than 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
The above possession limits are to be considered cumulative, according to the law.
Any cannabis purchases must be in a sealed, odor-free container that is not easily accessible in your vehicle.
Where can you consume cannabis legally?
The new law states that cannabis is not to be consumed on a school bus, on the grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school, in a motor vehicle, in a public place, or in a correctional facility. Additionally, you cannot use cannabis in your home if it is used at any time as a child care or social service care location, or if there is anyone under the age of 21 physically nearby.
Individual municipalities can decide whether or not recreational marijuana sales will be legalized within their geographic limits.
There will be a limit on the amount of licensed dispensaries throughout the state, and in the Wabash Valley, The Clinic Effingham is currently the only dispensary where adult use sales will take place, starting mid-January according to a spokesperson from Green Thumb Industries.
The law states there will be a total of two dispensary licenses throughout a 13-county range in east-central Illinois that includes Edgar, Clark, Coles and Crawford counties.
Can employers still drug test?
Employers will still have the choice to enforce zero-tolerance policies in the workplace regarding cannabis, and can still drug test employees if they choose to do so, per the law.
How will cannabis advertising be regulated?
Businesses have several restrictions when it comes to advertising the sale of recreational cannabis products. Ads cannot depict consumption of cannabis, promote over-consumption, provide misleading or false information or contain images of a cannabis leaf or bud.
Additionally, there should be no marketing to people under the age of 21, including the inclusion of cartoons, characters or images that could appeal to someone under 21.
Packaging for cannabis products should all contain warnings about the health effects of smoking.
Does this change any medicinal marijuana laws?
The Act does not affect people who are protected under the Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act or any other legislature allowing medicinal marijuana use in Illinois.