On May 31, 2019, Illinois took a monumental step toward legalizing recreational marijuana use by passing HB 1438. The bill passed through the Senate by a vote of 38-17 on May 29th and then through the house on May 31stby a vote of 66-47 .  It was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019 and Illinois has officially become the 11thstate in the U.S. to legalize the purchase and possession of small amounts of marijuana. Governor Pritzker has expressed ongoing support for legalization since his campaign.
HB 1438, or the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, allows anyone over the age of 21 years old to possess, use, and purchase up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.  It also allows qualified individuals to grow limited amounts of marijuana. In addition to legalizing the possession and use of marijuana, the bill also provides for the expungement of prior minor convictions under certain circumstances. For instance, it calls for the Governor to pardon individuals for convictions involving 30 grams or under and for convictions involving 30-500 grams, the state’s attorney or the individual convicted could file petition with court to vacate the conviction.
The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. However, although the bill legalizes possession and use of marijuana, it does still allow employers to maintain a zero-tolerance policy. It also introduces taxes for marijuana products and grants financial assistance to communities that historically have been adversely impacted by the enforcement of marijuana related laws.
For more information on Illinois’ new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act or other matters, contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.
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