Illinois New Cannabis Law | What Business Owners Need to Know

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On Friday May 30th, Illinois became the first state to legalize the recreational possession and cultivation of marijuana for commercial purposes through their legislature. They became the eleventh state where adult-use of cannabis is legal and not only that, they made history as the first state in the U.S. to make the sales and of adult-use cannabis valid and legal transactions. All that remains now for these to be fully effective and implemented is for Governor J.B. Pritzker to sign the bill and he has already confirmed that he will.

Statutorily, Cannabis is already legal for medicinal purposes in Illinois and will be for adult-use purposes effective on the 1st of January 2020. The revenue to be expected in Illinois from adult-use usage/sales of marijuana to adults is well over $1.6 billion per annum, previous statistics have revealed that over $300 million have been made from at least 50 dispensaries since the state legalized medicinal cannabis in November 2018.

Apart from the fact that shreds of evidence from medical experts have shown that marijuana has many more advantages than its drawbacks (if any), Illinois legalizing cannabis could leave a positively heavy impact on the state’s economy. Even Gov. Pritzker confirmed this in one of his recent tweets saying it will create a lot of career and job opportunities with decent incomes.

"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.” ~ Governor JB Prizker via Twitter

Generally, in the United States as a whole, the cannabis industry is currently worth more than $24billion and with Illinois becoming the pioneer state to legalize the sale of cannabis for adult usage, many cannabis companies (new or established) will be more than ready to heed this wake-up call. The population of Illinois is well over 10 million and Chicago’s tourist attraction prowess alone will recoup any capital invested in cannabis and even generate jaw-dropping net profits.

The set of individuals speculated to benefit the most are the existing medical cannabis companies as they already have their working systems and mode of operation. Individuals or business owners already holding medical marijuana licenses would get head-starts as they could begin to sell cannabis for adult usage on Wednesday the 1st January 2020. Each of them can also open up one additional store and for the purpose of illustration, if 50 of them are able to maximize this – there would be an average of 100 Illinois recreational marijuana stores in 2019.

The Illinois cannabis law also incorporates day one equity for the people of color and areas that were affected the most by the war against marijuana and a fully grown adult could own and posse up to 30 grams of cannabis. There will be a 10% tax on all cannabis products having less than 35% of THC, 25% tax will be charged on cannabis products that have their THC higher than 35% and 20% will be tax on cannabis-infused commodities such as edibles and the likes.

At the time of this post, we would like to remind you that marijuana is still classified as an illegal substance according to the federal laws of the United States. We hope through education and advocacy, we the people can change the conversation, and eventually, change those laws.