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Nimesh Madhavan

Illinois Lawmakers Approve Adult-Use Legalization

Illinois lawmakers have approved a legalization bill that, if signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker — a cannabis legalization supporter — would make Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

The Illinois House of Representatives has approved the Senate’s legalization bill, sending the plan to the governor’s desk and putting Illinois just one likely signature away from becoming the 11th state to legalize adult-use cannabis, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker — who focused on cannabis legalization as a major part of his election campaign last year — has already promised to sign the legislation.

“The state of Illinois just made history, legalizing adult-use cannabis with the most equity-centric approach in the nation. This will have a transformational impact on our state, creating opportunity in the communities that need it most and giving so many a second chance. … In the interest of equity and criminal justice reform, I look forward to signing this monumental legislation.” — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, in a series of tweets

The bill will take effect on January 1, 2020 and will allow adult Illinois residents who are 21 or older to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC in an infused product, such as an edible or tincture. Nonresident visitors to Illinois, however, will only be allowed to possess 15 grams.

The bill establishes a taxed and regulated plan for a cannabis marketplace that includes licenses for cannabis cultivators and dispensaries. Home grow, however, is not allowed under the plan except for registered medical cannabis patients.

The bill also creates a system for the expungement of prior cannabis convictions.

“Prohibition hasn’t built communities. In fact, it has destroyed them,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “It is time to hit the reset button on the war on drugs.”

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