Skip to main content

Is Marijuana Legal In Illinois?

Let’s start by breaking down Illinois’ stance on medical and adult-use marijuana. Marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational purposes in Illinois. Adults over 21 and qualifying patients can possess and buy marijuana in Illinois. Only medical cannabis patients can grow marijuana in Illinois. Minors with debilitating conditions can designate a caregiver to assist in obtaining and growing cannabis. Here is more on Illinois cannabis laws.

The History Of Illinois Cannabis Laws

Illinois’ had prohibited recreational cannabis use since 1931 following a trend of marijuana prohibition among 29 other states in the early 20th century. In 1978, the Cannabis Control Act was passed allowing the use of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, the program was abandoned because of the inaction of both agencies required to manage it.

It wasn’t until 2013 when the Illinois General Assembly approved the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP). The bill legalized medical cannabis in a narrow capacity. The law lists a number of medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis treatment.

Illinois cannabis laws 5 things to know

Medical Marijuana Laws In Illinois

Medical marijuana patients in Illinois are able to possess up to 2.5 ounces (70.9 grams) of marijuana during a 14-day period. Patients are allowed to grow up to five plants in their household. Medical patients in Illinois can qualify for cannabis treatment if they have at least one of the following qualifying medical conditions:

  • Autism
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

How To Apply For A Medical Card In Illinois

Qualifying patients must be residents of Illinois and have one of the qualifying debilitating medical conditions. Patients must seek a signed physician certification and be at least 18 years of age.

Certain people with safety-sensitive positions can’t apply for a medical cannabis card. Patients can complete an application online or fill out a paper application and send it to:

Illinois Department of Public Health-Division of Medical Cannabis

535 W. Jefferson Street

Springfield, Illinois 62761-0001

If you require a caregiver to assist you with purchasing or growing medical cannabis, you must complete the designated caregiver application and submit the necessary documents. A caregiver must also have a valid registry card.

Applicants can sign up for a one, two, or three-year registry card for $100, $200, or $250, respectively. A reduced fee of $50, $100, and $125, respectively, for each card is applied to patients enrolled in the Federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs, or veterans.

Recreational Cannabis Laws In Illinois

Illinois’ recreational cannabis laws allow adults over 21 to possess, purchase, and consume cannabis. Recreational cannabis users can possess 30 grams (about an ounce) of marijuana flower. Users can also possess up to five grams of concentrates and 500 milligrams of cannabis-infused edibles. Adults visiting Illinois can only possess half of those amounts.

Users can smoke marijuana inside their home or at certain licensed cannabis establishments. Cannabis use is prohibited in any public space, in a motor vehicle, on school grounds (except medical users, near someone under 21, and near an on-duty school bus driver, firefighter, police offer, or corrections officer.

Businesses and landlords can also prohibit cannabis use on private property. Illinois universities and colleges can also prohibit the use of cannabis. Municipalities can also ban on-site consumption in their jurisdiction. The first on-site consumption license was given to Illinois Supply and Provisions in Springfield.

Cannabis flower purchases with less than 35 percent THC have a 10 percent sales tax. Edibles are taxed at 20 percent. Cannabis products with more than 35 percent THC have a 25 percent sales tax. Illinois municipalities and counties can also impose additional local sales taxes. 

The law also requires a 7 percent gross receipts tax on the sale of cannabis from growers to dispensaries. The sales tax may likely affect the final product price. 

Marijuana Expungement Laws In Illinois

After the adult-use cannabis bill was passed in Illinois, people convicted for possession of under 30 grams of cannabis prior to legalization could have their records sent to the state’s Prisoner Review Board and then the governor’s office for a pardon. Non-violent offenses could be pardoned and expunged by the Illinois attorney general.

People convicted for possession between 30 and 500 grams can petition for expungement themselves. Local state attorneys may choose to represent these cases and seek expungement on a case-by-case basis. On the eve of legalization, Gov. Pritzker pardoned over 11,000 people convicted of low-level cannabis possession.

Marijuana Jobs In Illinois

For the moment, only medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell recreational cannabis.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been able to satisfy the adult-use market’s high demand for cannabis. On the first day of legal cannabis sales, Illinois patients spent over million, one of the biggest adult-use openings among legal states. In January 2020 alone, Illinois brought in nearly $40 million in total sales.

The influx of retail, manufacturing, and cultivation activity in Illinois will significantly increase the need for marijuana jobs helping customers in dispensaries or trimming plants at the cultivation facility.

Illinois Cannabis Law Recap & Main Points

In Illinois, marijuana is acceptable for both medical and recreational use. An summary of Illinois's cannabis laws is provided below, along with data, state revenue, regulations, buying alternatives, possession restrictions, laws pertaining to home cultivation, and the state's medicinal marijuana patient population:

Legalization and Regulations: The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which went into effect in January 2020, allowed adult-use marijuana in Illinois. Up to 30 grams of marijuana may be owned for recreational purposes under this Act.

Furthermore, the Illinois Senate passed laws in 2023 that further decriminalized cannabis usage in Illinois. These laws included guidelines for people under probation or supervision as well as restrictions on searches based only on the scent of cannabis.

State Revenue and Taxation: Illinois has had substantial cannabis sales; in 2023, shops reported selling $140 million worth of recreational marijuana goods in a single month, which was a great showing for the sector.

Purchase and Possession Limits: Marijuana may be used for medical purposes and recreational purposes by adults 21 years of age and older in Illinois. Up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 mg of THC in goods, or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate are legal for recreational consumers to buy and possess.

Home cultivation laws in Illinois allow up to five plants per household for personal use by licensed medicinal marijuana cardholders and their caregivers. Cultivating for recreational purposes is forbidden and is a legal infraction in Illinois.

Patients Eligible for Medicinal Cannabis in Illinois: Those who meet the requirements for medicinal cannabis must register by obtaining a doctor's certification, filling out an online form, and, if required, assigning a caregiver. For veterans and individuals with impairments, the program offers discounted rates.

Only one patient at a time may be served by caregivers, who must be Illinois residents and be at least 21 years old.

Shipping and Importing Cannabis in Illinois: It is permissible to ship cannabis inside the state of Illinois as long as it is kept in a sealed container that cannot be accessed while a vehicle is being driven.

Both driving while intoxicated and consuming marijuana in a car are prohibited. Marijuana exports from Illinois are forbidden and are prosecuted as federal crimes.

Illinois Marijuana College

Get in on the ground floor of Illinois’ fast-paced and thrilling industry full of cannabis job opportunities for people of all skill and education levels.

Cannabis beginners can quickly learn the basics and move on to advanced pot topics with proper cannabis training. Cannabis Training University provides students with a guided and detailed program full of jam-packed courses that will train you for cannabis jobs in Illinois and set you apart from other applicants.

Learn all about the latest marijuana laws, how to grow marijuana, cooking with marijuana, extracting cannabis, using cannabis as a medicine, and more marijuana topics from the world’s foremost experts in their field. A small investment in your cannabis education can pay enormous dividends in job opportunities and overall satisfaction.

Illinois Cannabis Laws FAQ's

What is the Cannabis Control Act in Illinois?

On June 25, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed Public Act 101-0027, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. This Act permits Illinoisans over the age of 21 to possess and use cannabis in public places, while permitting non-residents to carry smaller amounts.

Do Illinois dispensaries track how much weed you buy?

Illinois state law mandates that dispensaries that sell marijuana keep records of sales. Dispensaries within the city may therefore scan your ID to make sure you don't make purchases that exceed the set amounts.

What is the Compassionate Use Act in Illinois?

A state statute in Illinois is known as the Compassionate Use Act. Through the system it establishes, individuals with specific disabilities can obtain an ID card that enables them to legally purchase and consume cannabis.

Do I need a medical cannabis card to grow weed in Illinois?

Residents of Illinois who meet the requirements and possess an Illinois Medical Cannabis Registry Identification Card are permitted to cultivate up to five (5) cannabis plants that are taller than five (5) inches inside their homes. It is still forbidden to cultivate ANY cannabis plants if a person does not possess an Illinois Medical Cannabis ID card.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

What is a cannabis infuser license in Illinois?

A facility that directly mixes cannabis concentrate into a product to create a cannabis-infused product is granted an infuser license.

Does anxiety qualify for medical marijuana in Illinois?

In Illinois, anxiety is not a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana.

Are cannabis consumption lounges legal in Illinois?

Local governments are able to approve the establishment of consumption lounges at dispensaries or freestanding retail tobacco stores, thanks to the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

How much does it cost to open a dispensary in Illinois?

In Illinois, a dispensary may have initial expenses of $75K to $180K and recurring expenses of $26K to $71K. Furthermore, license and permission fees may reach $60,000 for applicants who do not meet social equity requirements and $30,000 for those who do.

Can I smoke weed on the street in Illinois?

It's against the law to consume in public. This covers the spaces next to authorized dispensaries as well as parks and roadways. Driving while under the influence of cannabis is prohibited, as is consuming cannabis in any kind of vehicle, whether or not it is moving.

Are edibles legal in Illinois?

Residents of Illinois who are at least 21 years old are permitted to possess up to 30 grams, or one ounce, of cannabis flower. Five grams of concentrated cannabis (kief, oils, or dab) 500 mg of THC found in cannabis-infused goods (such as tinctures or edibles)

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

Enroll Now