Illinois has not just legalized marijuana through their own legal channels, they have set the groundwork for other states to follow in their progressive footsteps. Governor J.B. Pritzker made history at the end of May 2019. He signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana throughout Illinois becoming the 11th state to legalize cannabis products.
The bill passed with a vote of 66 to 47 in favor of legalization. This means that any adult over the age of 21 would be legally allowed to possess 30 grams of marijuana and carry cannabis-infused edibles; it also legally allowable to grow up to five plants.
The bill, which is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020, is also set to help establish a measure of social equality through directing a lot of the intended funds into education and training programs for people most affected by the illegality of marijuana. If a person has been convicted of possessing marijuana products up to 30 grams they will have the criminal records expunged.
Already, the bill has an angle of social justice work into it. Those areas most hit by the marijuana laws will receive help getting low-interest lows so they can enter into the cannabis business. This will help greatly when they apply for one of the licenses that are set to be issued for legal business startups. This would give many in the most affected communities a chance at normal lives and jobs without having a criminal conviction preventing them from being productive members of society.
The taxes that will be set on the cannabis products are based on the amount of THC each product contains. The higher the THC in the item the more it will be taxed. It is already estimated that sales will reach upwards of $500 million and that is with the delay in getting businesses licensed because while marijuana will be legal on January 1st of next year there will be no licensed marijuana dispensary or marijuana delivery businesses open yet.