Hey! Still thinking, ‘Is weed legal in Chicago?’ You must read this article to get the nerve about the cannabis laws.
Keep your eyes between the lines as well.
Chicago is the most popular city in the state of Illinois. Sometimes, it is mistaken for a state being so populous and popular. Illinois has made cannabis legal recently. Thus, for regular stoners, the city is a paradise. However, there are certain rules that everyone needs to take care of!
You’re lucky as weed is legal here until you follow the rules. Therefore if you are staying in Chicago or planning a trip, you must know each term that answers, Is weed legal in Illinois?
Learn the laws carefully.
Chicago’s Cannabis Laws: History, Recreational Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana Program
To understand legal marijuana in Chicago, you must understand the background and laws of Illinois.
History of Cannabis in Chicago:
Let me first explain where did from cannabis was introduced to Illinois culture. The country that made marijuana legal now was so resistant once. Know the interesting story…
Illinois was one of the first states to boycott recreational marijuana in 1931. As a result, the country passed the National Prohibition law. The condition of such a difficult stand for weed has continued for many years.
Then how did the change start?
Well, it’s near about 1960, when hippie culture started flourishing in the country, the change began. Then, in 1978, the state passed the Cannabis Control Act to make medical marijuana legal for medical marijuana users. The State Police and Department of Human Services have made some necessary policies to implement the law, but it didn’t work back then.
In 2013, with the legalization of medical cannabis, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize medical weed.
Later in 2019, the state passed the recreational marijuana bill and legalized marijuana completely.
From a weed-resistant state to the friendly one, Illinois has come a long way worth knowing.
Current Status of Marijuana:
Medical marijuana: Legal
Recreational marijuana: Legal
The year 2020 brought smiles to the face of weed lovers with marijuana legalization. This year the state welcomed the new law making recreational marijuana legal.
However, possession, growing, and selling of marijuana have some limitations. First, you must know the laws before considering smoking weed in Chicago.
So, look ahead for the laws.
Cannabis Laws you must know! Are recreational marijuana legal?
In the USA, Federal law and state law governs cannabis use. This article depicts the state law of Illinois.
In 2019, the state legislature of Illinois passed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act; Illinois became the first state to legalize marijuana sales by the act of state law. Democratic Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill and made cannabis available for adult use.
Laws for possession of cannabis:
Recreational cannabis became legal for possession in Jan 2020. The following are the key point for the possession of weed:
- Adults above 18 years can legally buy marijuana for recreational use from any licensed dispensaries in the state.
- Only adults above the age of 21 can use weed.
- No card is needed to purchase marijuana.
- Anyone can use cannabis in places like private property or cannabis tolerable places only.
- Public consumption is illegal like it is illegal to use cannabis near a school, university, motor vehicle, parks, etc. None of the bus drivers, police, or firefighters on duty can use weed in any case.
The law has differentiated between residents and foreigners in Illinois.
Illinois residents can legally possess up to 30 grams (about an ounce) of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, or 500 mg of cannabis edibles. However, non-residents can buy just half the quantities allowed to Illinois residents, i.e., 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of concentrates, or 250 grams of edibles.
If anyone is guilty of possessing upto to 30 grams of weed, the Prisoner review board reviews his offense. If he is found not involved in any other violent crime, he will be deleted from the crime. The Illinois attorney general, governor Pritzker then delete the records.
Local state attorneys can request expungement for convictions between 30-500 grams on a case basis.
Laws for cannabis selling:
Cannabis sales set a new benchmark in 2020 as medical cannabis use hit $64 million. Total weed sales in 2020 only brought a high revenue for the state lines. The data says that overall sales went to $1.03 Billion, which consists of $366 for medical cannabis and $669 for recreational sales in Illinois.
Likewise, in May 2021, marijuana sales went up to 2.5 million from authorized dispensaries last year. Marijuana business daily (MJBizDaily) estimates that by the end of 2022, Illinois may have 2 to 3 stores per 100000 residents.
Many suburbs banned cannabis businesses, but you will be safe in Chicago until you play under the law. According to Chicago Tribune, Chicago has been the first choice for cannabis-related businesses.
It doesn’t mean that you can sell any amount of weed in Chicago. Chicago Tribune published the government rules for selling weed.
Selling 2.5-10-grams weed is a misdemeanor, and more than 10 grams of cannabis is a felony.
Laws for the cultivation of weed:
Cultivation of Marijuana remains illegal. However, nobody can grow weed plants in their home, irrespective of the number of plants.
However, medical marijuana patients with medical marijuana cards can grow upto 5 plants per prescription.
Laws are tough for weed cultivation.
If anyone gets caught growing up to five plants without medical cannabis card, he must pay the fine (civil penalty) of $200.
People convicted for growing 5-20 plants is a felony, and the offender must spend 1-3 years in jail with a $20,000 fine. However, fine increases gradually with the number of plants. Like growing 50-200 plants would let you pay a $100,000 fine with 3-7 years in prison. If the offender has grown more than 200 plants illegally, he must spend upto 15 years in prison.
Thus, it is not recommended to cultivate cannabis flower plants in Chicago. However, you cannot grow marijuana in any case.
The government has zero tolerance policies for the cultivation of marijuana.
Medical Marijuana in Chicago:
In 2013, Illinois became the 20th state in the USA to legalize medical weed. A medical cannabis patient program was launched for several medical conditions.
Who are the medical marijuana users?
Anyone who is suffering from the following diseases or medical conditions can opt for medical marijuana:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Any Fatal disease
- Spinal Cord Disease or Injury.
Anyone over 18 years and suffering from these medical ailments can register in the medical marijuana program and use medical marijuana products. Medical use of weed under the law is safe. But if you breach the law, there would be tough consequences.
Is Industrial Hemp allowed in Chicago?
Governor Pritzker strongly recommended industrial hemp use and growth. He said,
“Industrial hemp is a potentially billion-dollar industry that Illinois will now take part in,” This will have a massive impact on our state’s economy.”
After the US Farm Bill passed in 2019, the Illinois Department of Agriculture started providing licenses to farmers.
Undoubtedly, the state’s uplifting hemp industry has been proven to be a great decision to revive the economy.
How is cannabis tolerance in Chicago?
As the laws are eased for possession and sale, Chicago has become highly tolerant of marijuana use. As a result, many people from Black and brown communities enjoy their pre-rolled joints.
Although, you must take care not to breach the laws like smoking near a school or in public places. Remember, the government has made it legal for public health and convenience. Yet tricking the law isn’t a good idea!
Also, the state may ban marijuana smoking on properties whose owners raise objections to marijuana use on their premises. For example, you cannot use cannabis products in such places. For example, Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed with Sate police that the Balcony or backyard in your house is acceptable for smoking weed.
Is CBD legal in Chicago?
It is legal to use CBD in Chicago. However, there are certain grey areas in Illinois where CBD-infused products are not accepted.
Is it okay to drive while high?
No, police can do a field sobriety test or may perform a blood test in some cases. It is unacceptable.
How can I get Medical Marijuana Card?
First of all, visit Illinois’s Department of Public Health. Here, you will get the form to fill out. Once your details and application get approval, you will get your MMJ card. Your details and application get approval; you will get your MMJ card.
Is there any tax to pay even if I have a medical marijuana card?
Certainly NOT. Patients with medical marijuana cards don’t have to worry about the tax.
The Bottom line:
As of now, you have understood that Chicago is a weed-friendly city in Illinois. You can enjoy legal weed without getting worried about the legislation.
What you must take care of is that you should follow the rules. Respect the prohibitions and act smartly. Chicago welcomes stoners, so breaking the law would trouble you.
Make a wise choice and enjoy all possible legal forms of weed in Chicago. That is indeed a paradise for stoners!