Recreational Cannabis Information

The recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older in Illinois will become legal effective Jan. 1, 2020. This law is referred to as the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

FAQs

Can the adult possession/consumption of cannabis be banned by a local government like Lake County? 
No, local governments cannot ban or override the regulations allowing adult possession/consumption adopted under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (see the paragraphs below on “Possession” and “Use” for more details).

What role does local government have in regulating recreational cannabis businesses?
Under the law, jurisdictions in Illinois can ban recreational cannabis businesses within their boundaries or, alternatively, establish regulations to allow businesses engaged in the production, transport and sale of cannabis. This includes Lake County government, which enforces zoning regulations for unincorporated Lake County. Municipalities can establish such business regulations within its boundaries.

View a map of the status of recreational cannabis regulations in Lake County. At this point, Lake County has not made the decision yet on whether to regulate or ban recreational cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas.

Recreational Cannabis Map

How much cannabis may an Illinois resident legally possess under the new law?
For an Illinois resident who is 21 years of age or older, the possession limit is any combination of the following:

  • 30 grams of raw cannabis;
  • Cannabis-infused product or products containing a total of no more than 500 mg of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); and or
  •  Five grams of cannabis product in concentrated form.

*Non-Illinois residents may legally possess 1/2 of these amounts and cannot possess cannabis plants. 

For individuals who register as qualifying patients under the state’s existing medical cannabis program only:

•    Up to five cannabis plants and the cannabis produced from those five plants, secured within the residence or dwelling unit (no matter how many people reside in a residence, only five plants are allowed per residence).

Where will consumption be allowed?
The consumption of cannabis will be allowed on private property or potentially, specifically designated establishments such as dispensaries or smoking lounges (if approved by the local government).

Where is a person prohibited from possessing cannabis?
The law does not permit any person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal or other penalties for engaging in, any of the following conduct:

  • Possessing cannabis on a school bus.
  • Possessing cannabis on the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school unless approved as a medical cannabis patient.
  • Possessing cannabis in a vehicle not open to the public unless the cannabis is in a reasonably secured, sealed, tamper-evident container and reasonably inaccessible while the vehicle is moving.
  • Possessing cannabis in a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed childcare or other similar social service care on the premises.

Where is the use of cannabis prohibited?
The law does not permit any person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal or other penalties for engaging in the consumption of cannabis in the following locations: 

  • On a school bus.
  • On the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school unless authorized in the medical cannabis program.
  • In any correctional facility.
  • In any motor vehicle.
  • In a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed childcare or other similar social service care on the premises.
  • In any public place or knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under 21 years of age.
  • In any public place where a person could reasonably be expected to be observed by others. 
  • In any location where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke Free Illinois Act (410 ILCS 82/1 et seq.), including hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, offices, commercial establishments, etc.
  • Universities, colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions may restrict or prohibit cannabis use on their property.

What regulatory abilities, if any, do business owners and landlords have?
Any person, business, public entity, or landlord may prohibit the use and cultivation of cannabis on private property.

Can I bring cannabis purchased in Illinois to another state?
No. Transportation of cannabis or cannabis products across state lines is prohibited. This applies to both Illinois and out of state residents. 

Can I drive while under the influence of cannabis?
No, driving under the influence of cannabis will continue to be illegal.

How does recreational cannabis affect criminal records?
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker will grant pardons authorizing expungement for convictions for up to 30 grams, with the attorney general going to court to delete public records of a conviction or arrest for the now legal amount. Regarding possession of 30-500 grams, an individual or a state’s attorney may petition the court to vacate or expunge the conviction. Local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police will also automatically expunge arrests not leading to a conviction for possession and manufacture or possession with intent to deliver for up to 30 grams.

How is cannabis taxed? 
Sales will be taxed at 10 percent for cannabis with THC levels at or less than 35 percent; 25 percent for cannabis with THC levels above 35 percent; and 20 percent for cannabis-infused products such as edibles. This is in addition to standard state and local sales taxes. Additionally, Lake County adopted an ordinance that allows the County to collect a cannabis retailer's occupation tax on any permitted recreational cannabis dispensaries within the incorporated and unincorporated areas upon the State’s start-date authorizing such tax collection (July 1, 2020).  At this time, since the County Board has not adopted zoning regulations allowing unincorporated dispensaries, such tax would not be applied in the unincorporated areas.