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What Is The New Recreational Marijuana Law That Will Go Into Effect In 2020?


The new law is going into effect on January 1st 2020, and basically, it’s changing all the marijuana laws so that small amounts will now be legal. You’ll be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana but there are certain restrictions on that as well.

Who Will Be Allowed To Smoke Marijuana Recreationally?

Anybody who is 21 years or over will be able to smoke marijuana recreationally in Illinois under the new law. You can possess up to an ounce.

Can Non-Residents Of Illinois Possess Marijuana Or Take Marijuana Purchased in Illinois Home?

I do not think so. I think you have to be an Illinois resident and you have to be 21 years old.

Where Can You Buy Recreational Marijuana?

We’ll see how they are going to deal with the giant influx of people wanting to buy it after January 1st, but the state dispensaries are the only ones that are licensed to sell marijuana at this point. You are going to have to go through a state dispensary. With the existing medical marijuana laws, you have to pick one dispensary and that’s the one that you have to use – if you have a medical marijuana card right now, you have to pick one, register at that address, and that’s the only one you can purchase from. I believe that is going to change this January 1st. Much of this still hasn’t been put to the test yet, so it’s hard to tell.

I talked to people in one of the dispensaries and asked them if they are concerned about running out, and they told me that they have already been warned that they have to resupply. It’s going to be on a first come, first served basis obviously, but the people with medical marijuana cards will get the amount that they need and then if there’s anything left over then anybody else can come in. I think they are going to have to allow people to pick more than one dispensary but again, they haven’t implemented this yet, so we are waiting to see how they actually do it on January 1st.

Who Is Allowed To Grow Marijuana Plants In Illinois?

You will not be able to grow marijuana plants under the new law. If you have a medical card, you are allowed to grow up to 5 plants – which is kind of funny, because 5 plants can be 5 little seeds that are growing on the ground, or they could be 5 three-foot-tall full grown adult marijuana trees that weigh a couple of pounds. I’m waiting to see how that actually gets applied in real life. We had a case up in Skokie last week where someone was charged with possession of 10-30 grams of marijuana which right now would be a Class B misdemeanor. With that charge you’re looking at anything up to a $1500 fine and 6 months in jail. That’s going to be out the door, so it will no longer be a crime. There is also a charge of possession with intent to deliver 10-30 grams, which is a Class 4 felony. This was in the Skokie Court and the state dismissed it completely.

I have a feeling the laws are going to be enforced a lot less as long as it’s small amounts. Now make no mistake, there are limits. If you get caught with a couple of pounds, you are still going to get charged with trafficking and it’s still going to be a felony. You can’t just open your own shop and you can’t start growing your own stuff and selling it. They want their piece of the pie. Believe me when I tell you, the state is doing this because of the tax revenue they are going to generate.

The people who have a medical marijuana card will have a substantial break on the taxes – it sounded like 30% at the time, I don’t know if they are going to increase it or not. That’s the amount I hear when they advertise on the radio. Having a full medical marijuana card will allow you to grow marijuana, but only 5 plants, and it will save you some money tax wise.

For more information on New Recreational Marijuana Laws In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

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