There’s a new law in the Land of Lincoln! Yesterday, while ringing in a new decade, Illinois also saw the official start of legal cannabis sales for adults 21 and older.
Illinois residents can now purchase and possess up to 30 grams of raw cannabis, cannabis-infused products containing no more than 500 mg of THC, and five grams of cannabis product in concentrated form. Visitors to the state can purchase half those amounts. More than 40 dispensaries throughout Illinois have been approved to sell cannabis to adults.
MPP lobbied to improve cannabis policies in the Illinois Legislature for over 15 years and worked closely with legislators and the governor’s office to craft and pass this new law, which contains the most far-reaching social equity provisions ever included in a legalization law. It includes reinvestment in communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition, broad expungement provisions, and measures to ensure the industry includes communities that have been targeted by cannabis enforcement. On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker granted over 11,000 pardons for low-level cannabis convictions, marking the first wave of expungements expected under the new law.
We’d like to give a big shout out to these four legislative champions who saw this effort to its fruition — Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth. Sen. Hutchinson was appointed by Gov. Pritzker to oversee the state program in September. Thanks to their years of dedication, this law will truly change lives, which is why MPP does this work.
With state legislatures soon convening for their 2020 legislative sessions, MPP is working hard to make further progress reforming our nation’s cannabis laws. Although 11 states have now legalized, a majority of Americans still live in a jurisdiction where possessing cannabis is against the law.
Please donate to MPP so that we can continue to enact and implement legalization policies at the state level. Illinois is a powerful reminder of what our movement can achieve when we have the resources needed to succeed.