Illinois: Senate Passes Recreational Marijuana Bill

HB 1438 passed the Senate with 38 voting in favor and 17 opposed. Two senators voted present and two voted no.

The bill would allow Illinois residents to possess any combination of the following:

  • 30 grams of cannabis flower
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
  • 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.

“The way we have enforced cannabis in the history has been atrocious,” Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said. “I think this is the biggest piece of social equity, social justice legislation that we’ve passed here in the state of Illinois.”

Earlier in the day, the Senate executive committee signed off changes to the bill. Senators decided to restrict home growing to only medical patients. Local towns and municipalities will be allowed to enact zoning ordinances pertaining to public consumption.

“I think that with these safeguards in place the people of Illinois look at this and want our government to give individuals freedom over their life decisions,” Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said.

The Democratic controlled legislature insisted that legalization would help minority communities.The measure creates a $30 million social equity loan program and lawmakers directed Pritzker to pardon people with past low-level marijuana convictions.

The governor issued a statement after the bill passed the Senate that read the following:

“Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis, and I’m grateful that the Senate has taken this important step with a bipartisan vote. Senators Steans and Hutchinson have done tremendous work to reach this point, and I encourage the House to take decisive action to make Illinois a national leader in equity and criminal justice reform.”



Here’s  a statement below from Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A bill to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use in Illinois passed in the state Senate Wednesday in a vote of 38-17. The bill, which removes several cannabis possession offenses from criminal histories, now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“MPP is proud to have worked hand-in-hand with state lawmakers and Gov. Pritzker to develop this historic legislation,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which is leading advocacy efforts in support of the legislation. “This bill helps people remove the stigma and harm caused by prior cannabis possession convictions and creates opportunities for those who want to enter the new, regulated program.”

HB 1438, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, would legalize the possession and purchase of up to 30 grams of cannabis for adults and establish an inclusive, regulated market for cultivators, processors, transporters, retail stores, and testing labs. If enacted, adults could begin purchasing cannabis as early as January 1, 2020. In addition to legalizing possession and sales for adults, the bill adds the option for medical patients to grow cannabis at home and creates cannabis-related training opportunities at local community colleges.

Laws regulating and taxing cannabis for adult use have been enacted in nine states — including Michigan — and the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. Vermont and D.C. are the only two U.S. jurisdictions where cannabis possession and cultivation is legal, but where the laws do not include regulated retail sales. If HB 1438 is enacted, Illinois will become the first state to approve legal cannabis sales through the state legislature rather than via a ballot measure.


Filed Bill 28.5.19

Primary Sponsor

New: Free USA Cannabis Case Law Search – New Cases Daily

Top Marijuana Blog