LOS ANGELES CA, January, 1 ( Dr Cyberspace ) — by Robert Bishop — Recreational Marijuana Is Legal In Chicago. The Illinois General Assembly passed marijuana legislation “HB 1438” on May 31st, 2019, making Illinois the 11th state legalizing marijuana.
Democratic Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on June 25th making recreational marijuana legal on January 1, 2020. Recreational marijuana users must be 21 years or older to be able to purchase marijuana legally.
Marijuana users may buy or possess up to 30 grams, or about one fat ounce, of cannabis plant material. Edibles are limited to no more than 500mg of THC, while cannabis concentrate products are limited to five grams.
Non-residents are allowed to purchase only half of those amounts. Still, only medical marijuana patients will be growing cannabis plants at home, and they’re limited to just five cannabis plants.
Chicago is the largest city in Illinois by far with nearly 3 million citizens. Chicago’s Mayor, Lori E. Lightfoot, has been busy preparing for the marijuana industry and the positive changes that it will bring.
Mayor Lightfoot had a cannabis zoning ordinance approved earlier this year which created seven distinct zones in the city for legal marijuana sales. Each cannabis zone will be capped at seven dispensaries, initially. However, that cap will be increased to 14 dispensaries in May 2020.
Mayor Lightfoot says that the zoning is an effort by the city to ensure that cannabis dispensaries are evenly distributed throughout the city.
“As the city prepares for the legalization of adult-use cannabis next month, we are working alongside the state and taking every effort to stand this industry up in a way that is safe, responsible and offers the maximum level of opportunity for Chicago’s residents and businesses” said Mayor Lightfoot in a statement.
“With this legislation, more entrepreneurs will be eligible to participate in the cannabis economy, including those who have borne the brunt of the war on drugs, and Chicago’s residents will have the opportunity to consume cannabis in a safe location.”
Governor Pritzker Grants 11,000 Pardons
Governor Pritzker granted more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana crimes just yesterday.
“We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” said Governor Pritzker in a statement. “We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core.”
The governor called the pardons the first wave of expungements which will reach thousands under the state’s new marijuana law.
“The 11,017 pardons that Gov. Pritzker is granting today are thousands of lives forever changed — and hundreds of thousands more will be changed in the coming months,” said former state senator, Toi Hutchinson, an adviser to Pritzker on marijuana policy.
“Those who were unfairly targeted by discriminatory drug laws can finally get ahead and build a new future for themselves and their families.”
Officials estimate that 116,000 marijuana convictions involving 30-grams or less are eligible for pardons under the new marijuana law.
“We know that Black Illinois residents are far more likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana possession than whites,” said Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
“This is a good step forward as we begin the legal sales of recreational marijuana.”
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