Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign a bill approved by lawmakers Friday that will legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois. When that happens, the land of Lincoln will become the 11th state to greenlight legal pot.
It’s a 600-page bill loaded with details. So here are answers to some common cannabis questions:
1. When can I possess pot … legally?
Once the bill is signed, anyone age 21 or older can legally possess marijuana as soon as Jan. 1, 2020.
Possession of marijuana will be legal throughout the state, but local governments will still have the power to ban pot businesses.
2. Where can I use pot?
Smoking marijuana and consuming pot-infused products will be banned at parks, on streets and sidewalks, anywhere near someone under the age of 21, and while driving a motor vehicle.
Colleges and universities can still prohibit students from using cannabis.
You can smoke inside your home. But if you’re a renter, your landlord can ban smoking inside your apartment.
Local governments could allow consuming inside pot-related businesses.
3. How much pot can I buy?
Illinois residents over the age of 21 can have up to 30 grams of flower, which is the plant itself. Residents can also carry 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and half a gram of cannabis-infused products, like edible gummies.
But adults visiting from outside of Illinois will be allowed to carry only half those amounts.
4. Can my boss still drug test me?
Yes. Employers can still test workers and fire them for using marijuana. Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal.
5. What happens if I have a record for carrying or selling pot?
The governor can pardon convictions involving up to 30 grams of marijuana.
But if a conviction involves 30 to 500 grams, a state’s attorney or the individual can petition the court to have the criminal record expunged.
6. Will marijuana be taxed?
It’s Illinois, so yes, it will be taxed.
Products with less than 35% of THC, the compound that makes users high, will be taxed at a 10% rate. Products with more THC will carry a 25% tax, and pot-infused products, like edibles, will be taxed at 20%.
Local governments can add their own taxes, which are capped at 3% in most areas.