A Quick Guide to Cannabis Consumption in Illinois
Since January 1st, the purchase of recreational cannabis has officially been made legal in Illinois. Consequently, pot lovers all over the state have been wondering how, where, and when to buy cannabis. If you’re looking for the answers yourself, just keep on reading!
When it comes to buying it, there are certain restrictions you need to keep in mind before visiting a dispensary. Government-issued ID verification (age and address) is obligatory; it will be electronically scanned as if you were purchasing liquor. So, same as with alcohol and tobacco, you need to be 21 or older in order to smoke recreational cannabis.
At the moment, there is only one dispensary at 1014 Eastport Plaza Drive in Collinsville, Illinois, called Supply & Provisions, but there are rumors that the owners will open another one in Fairview Heights as well.
Overall, Illinois residents are allowed to carry up to 30 g of cannabis flower, 5 g of cannabis concentrate, and 500 mg of THC contained in any kind of cannabis product (no matter the combination).
However, different rules apply for out-of-state residents who want to buy cannabis in Illinois — they are allowed to possess 15 grams of cannabis flowers, 250 mg of THC, and 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate. Despite this, you still can’t transport cannabis outside the state, since, for instance, in Missouri, cannabis possession could cause a $2,000 fine or even some jail time.
That said, Illinois residents are still prohibited from smoking cannabis in public or any other locations where smoking is strictly prohibited by the Smoke-Free Illinois Act. If by any chance some municipalities allow it, cannabis consumers might be able to smoke cannabis in a dispensary or a similar cannabis-related business, but this is still uncertain.
Of course, driving under the influence of cannabis is also illegal, yet what might surprise many is that you have to store the bought cannabis properly — namely, keeping it in the same package as you bought it. Otherwise, you might face an unexpected fine.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to grow your cannabis at home, the answer is — generally, no.
Though, if you are in need of cannabis for medical reasons, there are conditions under which you’re permitted to grow your own cannabis; for instance, you are allowed to possess up to five plants and they must be less than 5 inches tall. Furthermore, they must be on residential property, inside closed space, and inaccessible to public view (especially to anyone under 21).
Cannabis legalization in Illinois is expected to earn between $50 and $500 million in cannabis tax revenues — we’ll just have to wait and see how big exactly the head-spinning figure is going to be.
As of now, the following municipalities have approved the purchase of recreational cannabis: Edwardsville, Collinsville, East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Highland, and Belleville have approved the sale of recreational marijuana in the city.
By mid-year, 75 additional dispensaries are expected to open in Illinois, out of which four are to be located in the metro-east area.