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Illinois Weed Laws


Illinois weed laws: Is weed legal in Illinois?

Medical and recreational weed is legal in Illinois.

Legislation history

The history of cannabis legislation in Illinois dates all the was back to 1931, when the state outlawed it. Use of cannabis remained illegal until 1978 when the state passed the Cannabis Control Act. Although the act technically legalized medical cannabis, there were no regulations.

Governor Pat Quinn passed its first medical cannabis laws in 2013 with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This legalized the sale, cultivation, and use of medical cannabis and put the department of Public Health (DPH), Agriculture, and Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) in control of the program.

In November 2015, dispensaries began selling medical cannabis to qualified patients.

The following year in 2016, marijuana possession was decriminalized. People caught with 10 grams of cannabis or less were subject to a $100-$200 fine instead of going to jail.

In 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into effect. This legalized cannabis use for adults age 18 and over. This made Illinois the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational cannabis. Illinois was the first state to legalize cannabis use via legislation and not a public vote. As a result, hundreds of thousands of cannabis possession records were expunged, for previous offenders who possessed 30 grams or less. Recreational cannabis sales began on January 1, 2020.





Where is it safe to purchase marijuana in Illinois?

Adults age 21 and older can buy recreational cannabis at any adult-use dispensary in Illinois.

Registered patients and their caregivers can purchase medical cannabis at a dispensary in the state. Medical patients pay a 1% pharmaceutical tax on their cannabis goods purchased.  Qualifying patients may purchase medical cannabis only from their chosen dispensary, as indicated in their initial registry application form. They may, however, change their selected dispensary at any time by completing the Medical Cannabis Selection Form.

There is a 10% sales tax on cannabis products with less than 35% THC. Products with over 35% THC come with a 25% added tax. Cannabis edibles are subject to a 20% tax. Counties and municipalities can also add on any additional local sales taxes.

Illinois weed laws: When will medical weed be legal in Illinois?

Medical cannabis is currently legal in Illinois.

How old do I need to be to consume?

In Illinois, anyone over age 21 can consume or purchase cannabis – with or without a medical cannabis card. Registered patients age 18 and older can consume cannabis for medical use.

Does Illinois accept out of state mmj cards?

Illinois does not accept out of state medical marijuana cards. However, you do not need a medical card to purchase cannabis in the state. Any adult over the age of 21 can purchase cannabis from a licensed dispensary.





What is the possession limit for flower and concentrates?

Residents of Illinois over 21 years of age can possess:

  • 30 grams of flower
  • 5 grams of concentrate
  • 500mg of THC infused edible or tincture

Anyone over age 21 who is visiting the state can possess half of those amounts.

Illinois weed laws: Medical marijuana program

The Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program is overseen by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Those who would like to become patients can apply online or fill out an application and mail it it. To qualify, patients must be at least 18 and they cannot be a police officer, correctional officer, firefighter, or hold a commercial drivers license or bus driver license.


Patients with qualifying conditions can apply for a medical marijuana card. Qualifying conditions include the following:

  • Autism
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

A full list of qualifying conditions can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.





How to get an Illinois medical marijuana card

The process to obtain a medical marijuana card in Illinois is as follows:

  1. The patient must get a doctor’s written certification to confirm the diagnosis of a qualifying condition.
  2. Must then complete and sign the cannabis application form. On this form, the patient must pick the dispensary they will shop at, and designate a caregiver, if needed. Patients may change their dispensary of choice at a later time.
  3. Pay the application fee. $100 for a one-year registry. $200 for a two year registry. $250 for a three year registry. There are reduced rate options for veterans and patients with disabilities.
  4. Include a passport style photograph.
  5. Prove residency of Illinois with two documents. Acceptable forms are bank statements, state IDs, drivers licences, and voter ID cards.
  6. Prove age with a copy of a government issued photo ID.
  7. If applicable, include a caregiver application & pay the caregiver fee.

Lab testing

In the state of Illinois, all cannabis and products containing cannabis must be tested in a state-approved lab. In order to be sold to the public, all products must be tested for:

  • cannabinoid profiles
  • pesticides
  • microbiological contaminants
  • mycotoxins
  • residual solvents


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