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Governor Pushes Broad Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Authors: Brad Stewart, Matt Marcellis

May 14, 2019

On May 6, 2019, Senate Bill 0007 was introduced which would legalize recreational marijuana use in Illinois. Governor Pritzker touted the plan as a vital source of revenue for the state and as a necessary first step to expunging the criminal records of approximately 800,000 people who have been incarcerated or charged with marijuana-related offenses.

Some important points contained in the plan include:

  • Illinois residents over the age of 21 would be allowed to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product.
  • Marijuana products would be taxed at a rate from 10% to 25% depending on type and THC content.
  • Local governments would be permitted to: prohibit the establishment of cannabis dispensaries in their jurisdiction if they “opt out” within one year of the passage of the Act, or alternatively by local referendum; levy their own sales taxes on marijuana products, these taxes may be imposed in .25% increments and cannot exceed 3%; enact reasonable zoning restrictions and/or rules governing cannabis establishments; and establish civil penalties for violating time, place, and manner regulations within their jurisdiction.
  • Certain individuals arrested for possessing, delivering, or growing marijuana in the past would be eligible to have their criminal record expunged.
  • Employers would still be able to determine their own drug policies.

While this bill is only in the preliminary stages and further amendments to it are likely, ZRFM will continue to monitor it as it progresses through the state legislature.