Thank you very much for submitting your question. Yes, Illinois is just a signature away from officially being the 11th state to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use (and the crowd goes wild)! Both the Illinois House and Senate approved the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, May 31, 2019, and Governor J.B. Priztker said he intends on signing the bill. Legal cannabis sales is slated to begin January 1, 2020.
The bill will allow adult residents of Illinois, age 21 years and older, to possess:
30 grams of cannabis flower Cannabis-infused product containing no more than 500mg of THC Up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
Those who are non-residents will have the ability to possess half that amount:
15 grams of cannabis flower Cannabis-infused product containing no more than 250mg of THC Up to 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate
Qualifying medical patients registered under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act may cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants. Any person, who is not a qualified patient and found cultivating up to 5 plants, is subject to a civil violation punishable by a minimum fine of $100 and not more than $200.
The imposed taxes on marijuana sold for recreational use are set to be as follows:
Flower or products containing less than 35% THC = 10% tax Infused products and edibles = 20% tax Products containing greater than 35% THC = 25% tax This comes in addition to the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and up to 3.5% that local jurisdictions are allowed to impose.
Social justice and equity are key parts of the bill, as well.
The bill provides for automatic expungement of criminal records for convictions of up to 30 grams. Those who have been convicted of possession in the amounts between 30-500g can petition the court for expungement. It has been estimated by the Illinois State Policy Advisory Council that up to 770,000 cases would be eligible for expungement.
The social equity provisions seek to help those who have lived in a, “disproportionately impacted area,” one that has been hit hardest by the war on drugs (specifically cannabis), as well as individuals who have been convicted of minor offenses, by allowing qualified parties to apply as social equity applicants for business licenses. Benefits to social equity applicants are additional points awarded during the application process, which is a significant benefit, as well as assistance with funding by way of the Cannabis Business Development Fund.
The following types of business licenses will be issued:
Cultivation Center Craft Grower Processor Transporter Dispensary
Although recreational sales will be legal as of January 1, 2020, it will take some time to get the full infrastructure in place and operating. Current license holders will get a head start and will be permitted to open a single additional store. So, if all 55 current license holders take advantage, 110 stores could be selling early next year. Permits for additional dispensaries, craft growers, and processors will not be awarded until months into the new year, May – July, 2020. There are also second and third waves of permits expected to take place later in the year.
I hope this summary answers most of your questions. If we can be of additional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out by phone or email. iCann Insure is a leading provider of insurance to the cannabis and hemp industries, nationwide. We are happy to help in any way possible.
Adam Patt President, iCann Insure Member NCIA Finance and Insurance Committee