Idaho Cannabis Laws

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Illinois Law: 

StateRecreationalMedical MarijuanaCBD

Federal Law:

Recreational Medical MarijuanaCBD

Is recreational cannabis legal in Illinois?

Yes. Before Illinois passed recreational cannabis legalization in 2019, the state decriminalized possession with less than 10 grams with a bill signed by the governor in 2016. Under the decriminalization law, small-time possession of cannabis is no longer a misdemeanor. 

Illinois cannabis legalization passed June 2019 when Gov. Pritzker signed HB 1438, becoming the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use and the first in history to legalize through legislation rather than a popular vote. This landmark legalization also triggered the expungement of records of cannabis possession under 30 grams before legalization. As of January 2021, Illinois saw nearly 500,000 low-level cannabis charges expunged

Illinois’ legal market has been incredibly successful in its first year. The state continues to lead in the industry with its social reforms such as the Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis Social Equity Program. Illinois is committed to ensuring that “communities historically impacted by the criminalization of cannabis have an opportunity to participate in the legal cannabis industry. To address the impact on those communities, the Act establishes a program for Social Equity Applicants who meet specific criteria”.  

Since legalization, the state has collected $62 million in cannabis tax funds to support lower-income neighborhoods. Now, the community is just waiting for it to be doled out. Unfortunately, there have been delays in granting cannabis licenses to equity applicants due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other bureaucratic roadblocks. 

Is Medical Marijuana legal in Illinois?

Yes. In the summer of 2013, the governor signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act, which legalized the cultivation, sale, and use of Medical Marijuana. 

Dispensaries began their first sales to qualified patients in November 2015. 

Are CBD products legal in Illinois? 

Yes. Since the passage of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States; as long as they contain at most 0.3% THC. 

Any and all CBD in food and drink is still federally illegal.

What’s Illinois’ recreational cannabis sales tax? 

16.25%. This is the retail cannabis tax for recreational products charged on top of the consumer purchase price, including municipal tax (3%), county tax (3%), and state sales tax (6.25%).

What’s Illinois’ medical marijuana sales tax?

1%. Medical marijuana is taxed at the pharmaceutical rate.

Are there any other Illinois cannabis tax rates?

Yes. A Medical Marijuana Cultivation Privilege Tax at 7% of the price per oz. The tax is paid by the cultivation center and is not the patient.

There are also cannabis excise tax rates at 10% for cannabis with a THC level at or below  35%, 20% for all cannabis-infused products, and 25% for cannabis with a THC level above 35%. 

Is cannabis delivery legal in Illinois?

Yes, for medical marijuana patients only. Delivery services are still subject to local limits based on time, place, and delivery manner (operating hours and delivery locations). 

Illinois’ Cannabis Timeline:

1931: Illinois Cannabis Prohibition Starts. 

1937: The Marihuana (archaic spelling of Marijuana) Tax Act was enacted banning cannabis at the federal level. Medical Marijuana use was still permitted.

1951: The Boggs Act, Sponsored by Hale Boggs and signed into law under President Harry S. Truman, This act set mandatory sentencing and increased punishment for cannabis possession. 

1969: The Marihuana Tax Act is deemed unconstitutional in the landmark Leary v. United States. Timothy Leary, a professor, and activist was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Leary then challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated his Fifth Amendment rights. (The self-incrimination clause provides various protections against self-incrimination, including the right of an individual to not serve as a witness in a criminal case in which they are the defendant, better known as “Pleading the Fifth”.) The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Therefore, Leary’s conviction was overturned.

1970: The Controlled Substances Act is enacted (replacing the unconstitutional Marihuana Tax Act). Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, determined to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, thereby prohibiting its use for any purpose. This act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. 

This legislation created five classifications, with specific qualifications for a substance to be included in each. The substances scheduling (classification) are determined by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yet, Congress does have the power to schedule or de-schedule substances through legislation. Substance scheduling decisions are based on its potential for abuse, accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and international treaties.

Classification of Controlled Substances:

Schedule I: High potential of abuse, not acceptable for medical use

Schedule II: High potential of abuse, sometimes allowed with “severe restrictions” for medical use

Schedule II: Medium potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

Schedule IV: Moderate potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

Schedule V: Lowest potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

1978: Illinois Cannabis Control Act passed, which technically legalized the use of medical marijuana if the State Police and Human Services created order for the legislation. Both departments never took action which rendered the act useless.

1984-1986: Mandatory Sentencing and the three-strikes law were created under the Reagan Administration. This accounts for some of the harshest drug laws created including mandatory 25-year imprisonment for certain drug offenses and the promotion of the death penalty to be used against “drug kingpins.”

1998: House Joint Resolution 117, encouraged by the passing of California’s Prop 215, the House of Representatives passed this measure to support the existing Federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of certain drugs.  

2013: Illinois’ Compassionate use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act legalized the cultivation, sale, and use of medical marijuana. 

2014: The Rohrabacher–Farr Amendment passed in the U.S. House and signed into law prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws.

2016: Illinois decriminalized minor possession, reducing punishment for under 10 grams of cannabis to a $100–200 fine.

2018: Illinois expanded its medical marijuana program. 

2018: Farm bill legalizes low-THC hemp nationwide and effectively de-schedules hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act.

2019: Recreational cannabis use legalized with the signing of HB 1438. 

January 2020: Illinois’ recreational adult-use begins.

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