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Illinois Marijuana Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Last Updated 1/7/2020 

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law in June 2019 legalizing the recreational use of cannabis by adults, including retail sales beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. The following article covers Illinois' current cannabis laws with summaries of provisions under these laws.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the cultivation, trafficking, sale, or possession of a small amount of marijuana is legal in Illinois under the  Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. The state also allows the use of medical marijuana for eligible patients, who also are permitted to grow their own medicine. Non-medical users, however, may not cultivate their own cannabis.

Cannabis Legalization in Illinois

Illinois lawmakers became the first to legalize the adult (21 and over) use of cannabis through legislation, rather than ballot initiative. The law was enacted on Jan. 1, 2020, with licensed sellers providing the herb at the retail level. 

The law allows Illinois residents age 21 and over to purchase up to one ounce of flower (dried herb) and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate (such as hashish or tincture). Illinois visitors are able to possess half those amounts. The law allows adults to consume cannabis either in their homes or at certain approved establishments. Businesses and landlords have the right to refuse its use on their properties.

Also, pre-legalization convictions for marijuana-related offenses (under 30 grams) are eligible for pardons as long as no violent crimes were committed. Cases will be reviewed by the Prisoner Review Board.

Illinois Marijuana Laws at a Glance

Understanding the law, especially cannabis laws, is no easy task; but it shouldn't require a law degree. Details about current Illinois marijuana laws are listed and referenced in the table below, written in "plain English" for your convenience.

Code Section

Possession

Residents of Illinois who are 21 years or older can possess:

  • Up to 30 grams of Marijuana
  • Up to 500 mg of THC in a marijuana-infused product or
  • Up to 5 grams of marijuana concentrate

People who are from out of state can possess half of what a resident can possess.

Sale

Only licensed dispensaries can sell marijuana. For a detailed explanation of how to open and operate a dispensary in Illinois, please refer to our article on How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Illinois.

Transport

Only people who have transportation licenses can transport and deliver marijuana. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has started accepting applications for licenses as of Jan. 7, 2020.

Medical

Eligible patients with a doctor's recommendation, after registering with the state, may legally consume medical marijuana (Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act). Individual cultivation is not permitted.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

Get Immediate Legal Help With Your Marijuana Charges

Although attitudes and laws relating to marijuana are increasingly liberalizing across the country, marijuana can still cause an enormous amount of trouble. A drug conviction could cost you your job, public embarrassment, and even result in a jail or prison sentence. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, it's in your best interest to reach out to an Illinois drug crimes attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.