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Illinois legalizes recreational marijuana
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Illinois legalizes recreational marijuana

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act on Tuesday, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. As of January 1, 2020, any adult over 21 years of age will be able to legally purchase cannabis for personal use from the licensed dispensaries across Illinois.

The law places limits on its possession and uses, including the max possession of 30 grams of the cannabis flower and no more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.

The Bill was introduced early in 2019 by Illinois state Rep. Michelle Mussman and ended up having 31 sponsors by the time the 101st General Assembly passed the bill. The bill passed the house nearly six months after it was introduced, officially becoming a public act on June 25, 2019.

Illinois is the first state to pass tax-and-regulate marijuana legislation through a legislative act rather than a voter-based ballot initiative. It also provides for expungements of prior cannabis possession convictions of 30 grams or less.

The most unique component of this bill is the ‘social equity’ component. A percentage of the tax revenue will go towards funding for minority neighborhoods hit hardest by the prosecution of marijuana possession.  The funding is meant to defray some of the start-up costs associated with entering the legal marijuana industry.

Illinois expects the new legal marijuana market will generate $50 to $500 million in the first year in additional tax revenues.

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