Your source for Illinois cannabis
Learn more about marijuana in Illinois.
Is Marijuana Legal in Illinois?▼▲
Currently, Illinois has a medical marijuana program in place. Passing both the House and Senate, the 2013 program, titled 'The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act' is operational and serves over 20,000 active cardholders.
Where Are Dispensaries Located in Illinois?▼▲
The medical marijuana program requires the creation of districts where one or more dispensing locations may be licensed. When the final rules and regulations were set, the total number of districts was 43. As of June 2017, more than 50 medical marijuana dispensaries were available to cardholders across the state. Additionally, more than 20 growers are licensed to provide these stores with product.
Are They Medical or Recreational Dispensaries?▼▲
Currently, only medical marijuana may be legally sold in Illinois.
Where Can I Consume Marijuana in Illinois?▼▲
Unfortunately, cardholders with active state medical registrations may not smoke marijuana in any place where it can be assumed someone could easily observe their behavior. The state has not made the same distinction, however, in the use of edible or topical forms of medical cannabis products. Still, there are several places designated as forbidden regardless of product form.
How Do I Find Work in the Illinois Marijuana Industry?▼▲
Becoming an employee of a medical dispensary requires an individual to provide evidence of Illinois residency, certification of identity (a passport and a piece of mail not older than 30 days, for example), and submit to fingerprinting and a background check. The check evaluates the criminal history of applicants, denying applicants who have past felony-level drug convictions.
Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in Illinois?▼▲
The Act does not require any private business to allow consumption of marijuana products. Cardholders are not protected from workplace policy concerning drug use, and medical marijuana is not protected from such policies. Typically, employers prefer to avoid the use of medicated products while at work, with most policies weighing on-the-job impairment over a positive test for marijuana.
Is Marijuana Delivery Legal in Illinois?▼▲
Delivery is currently legal from a cultivator or product manufacturer to a retail dispensing facility. However, as of August 2018, dispensary locations cannot deliver to the cardholder.
How is Marijuana in Illinois Dispensaries Paid For? ▼▲
Illinois dispensaries currently only accept cash. The Illinois Treasurer in early 2017 sent a letter to the Trump administration requesting guidance on banking, where card services and financial services have been continually upended by federal laws and regulation.
Marijuana is Legal▼▲
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was passed in 2013 through the state assembly. As this change was made by lawmakers rather than through a voter referendum, state legislators were able to perform a comprehensive review of the existing medical marijuana programs across the country. The Illinois medical cannabis program is an intensely-regulated pilot program expiring every four years unless renewed by lawmakers. The finalized regulations affect everything from how much an individual may purchase or possess to the hours a dispensing facility may be open, including fines and penalties for failing to comply.
Purchase and Possession Limits▼▲
Any cardholder registered in the state's medical marijuana program is eligible to purchase 2.5 ounces of marijuana in any two week period, setting a standard of five ounces per month. A cardholder may request a higher purchase limit, provided the cardholder's certifying physician views increased limits as therapeutically necessary and documents such information into the cardholder medical record. Cardholders may be subject to fines and criminal penalties if they possess more than the approved amounts. As a result of decriminalization efforts, Illinois residents not enrolled in the state medical cannabis program are able to avoid criminal penalties for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. However, mandatory minimum sentencing and felony charges await anyone who exceeds the 10-gram limit without a valid medical reason.
Marijuana and Driving▼▲
Driving While IntoxicatedUnder no circumstance does the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act authorize the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of medical cannabis products. Intoxication may be defined by the concentration of THC in an individual's blood, saliva, urine or other bodily fluid, and is not to exceed five nanograms per milliliter of blood or ten nanograms per milliliter of other bodily fluids. Cardholders caught in operational control of a motor vehicle in excess of the defined limits are subject to misdemeanor charges, along with any criminal fines and penalties associated with such a charge.
Driving While in Possession of MarijuanaMarijuana may be transported legally in Illinois under three conditions:
- The individual is a registered cardholder in the medical cannabis program and has their registration card.
- The individual is a registered caregiver in the medical cannabis program and has their registration card.
- The individual is a registered agent of a licensed, operating dispensing organization.
Growing Marijuana at Home▼▲
Illinois does not currently allow cardholders to grow marijuana at home. Any person caught growing marijuana at home is subject to various criminal penalties depending on the total quantity of plants. If caught cultivating five or fewer marijuana plants, misdemeanor charges, up to one year in jail, and fines not exceeding $2,500 are possible. Any individual caught cultivating between six and 49 plants are subject to felony-level criminal charges, fines up to $25,000, and as much as ten years in prison. Felony charges, prison time up to 3o years, and fines as high as $100,000 exist for those growing 50 plants or more.