In the ever-evolving landscape of cannabis legislation, Illinois and the City of Chicago have made significant strides in 2021 and 2022. A noteworthy event was the cannabis resource fair hosted by the City of Chicago on February 1, 2020, offering insights on various cannabis-related subjects, including record expungement and business opportunities in the cannabis sector.
During 2021 and 2022, Illinois saw moderate changes in its cannabis laws. These amendments included the introduction of new lotteries for licenses, enhanced dispensary access for medical cannabis users, and expanded rights concerning expungement requests. A notable legislative development was HB4116, introduced in the 102nd General Assembly of the State of Illinois by Representatives Bob Morgan, Kambium Buckner, and Kelly M. Cassidy. This bill further refined aspects of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Starting from January 1, 2020, recreational cannabis became available at licensed dispensaries in Chicago. The licensure process is managed by the State of Illinois, while the City of Chicago oversees the zoning and location of these dispensaries. It is essential to be aware of the safety concerns associated with cannabis products, especially edibles that may attract children. The Illinois Poison Control can be contacted in case of accidental ingestion.
According to state law, adults over 21 can legally possess, consume, and purchase cannabis in Illinois from January 1, 2020. Consumption is permissible in entities with an on-premises consumption license and on private property, subject to the property owner’s discretion. Public consumption remains illegal. The City’s zoning ordinance allows certain cannabis-related businesses in specified industrial zones, provided they adhere to distance regulations from residential districts.
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, effective from January 1, 2020, marks a significant milestone in Illinois’ approach to controlled legalization of adult-use cannabis. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation plays a crucial role in implementing and overseeing various aspects of the program, including licensing and regulation of dispensaries and related agents.