When recreational marijuana sales became legal on Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to allow people to use pot legally. To chat with a marijuana doctor follow the link provided.
The law approved permits for the growing, use, and sale of small amounts of pot under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. There are also provisions under state law for people to use medical marijuana. But while it’s legal in Illinois, marijuana use is still technically against federal law.
Below are a few of the ins and outs of cannabis use.
What are rules on recreational marijuana?
The laws are complex, but in a nutshell, those over 21 can legally possess up to 30 grams of marijuana or up to 500 grams of THC (the active ingredient in the plant that makes a person get “high”) in a cannabis-infused product, or up to 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, such as oils or medicated creams.
Weight is calculated based on total weight of the product for items like edibles. If a person has pot brownies that weigh over 500 grams, they are in violation of the law, said Jeff Hall of the Peoria law firm Hall, Rustom & Fritz. There’s no standard weight or size for edible products, so the number of them a person is allowed to have can vary by item.
Those who live outside of Illinois but who visit the state can legally possess half of what an Illinois resident can while they’re here. And a person cannot legally buy marijuana here and bring it back to their home state.
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Private sales are prohibited. Cannabis must only be purchased from a state-approved dispensary.
There is no public consumption allowed for cannabis. Smoking or consuming weed is illegal in motor vehicles and public spaces, including your front porch.
What about medical marijuana?
In 2013, Illinois approved the Medical Cannabis Patient Program, which lets people diagnosed with a qualifying “debilitating medical condition” to register with the Department of Public Health to obtain access to cannabis for medical use.
A list of qualifying conditions can be found at www.dph.illinois.gov. Those who drive school buses or have a commercial driver’s license to drive large vehicles can’t get a medical marijuana card.
With a doctor’s prescription to use medical marijuana, a person can obtain up to 2.5 ounces, or 71 grams, of cannabis within a two-week period. If a person’s medical condition requires more, they can obtain a waiver through the state.
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They can also grow up to five plants over 5 inches tall for medical use, but they must be grown outside of public view. Those who do this must ensure the plants are secure from unauthorized access, Hall said.
If marijuana is decriminalized, are police still enforcing laws regarding the drug?
Yes. People who have more than 30 but less than 100 grams of marijuana can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. It’s also illegal for anyone, whether they use recreationally or medically, to use pot within a car while it is on the road. Violation of that is also a class A misdemeanor.
The cannabis must be transported in a secured, sealed or resealable, odor-proof, child-resistant cannabis container that is inaccessible to passengers. Unlawfully possessing cannabis in a motor vehicle is a Class A misdemeanor, Hall said. And if an officer can detect the odor of marijuana, they can ask to search the vehicle.
In short: Keep the marijuana or the related products in their sealed container until you get home to avoid issues.
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Driving while impaired by the use of cannabis, or driving with an open container may result in the loss of driving privileges as well as the revocation of the driver’s medical cannabis card.
Additionally, medical marijuana users must take a field sobriety test or chemical testing if asked. If a patient refuses testing and/or is found guilty of DUI/cannabis, their medical cannabis card can be revoked.
Where can you get recreational or medical marijuana?
Within the Peoria area, there are two dispensaries that are approved by the state to distribute medical marijuana: Trinity Compassionate Care Centers, 3125 N. University St. in Peoria and NuEra East Peoria, 504 Riverside Drive in East Peoria. Each also sells recreational cannabis.
Peoria has one dispensary that sells only to recreational customers, operated by Trinity, located at 2304 W. Glen Ave. In Galesburg, there is Nature’s Treatment of the Quad Cities which also is only a recreational dispensary.
Also, there is a RISE dispensary in Canton operated by Evergreen Dispensary, LLC, which sells both medical and recreational marijuana.
Several other locations in the Peoria area have sought zoning permissions to become dispensaries, but their owners are awaiting necessary state permissions.
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A full of the state’s approved sites can be found on the state Department of Public Health website.
How can you get a license to grow or sell pot?
Within any state in the USA a person or company must apply for a license to sell or to grow marijuana. There are different types of licenses including one for “craft growing.” A run-down of the various requirements can be found online or through the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.