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Cannabis roundup

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019

* Tribune

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law a bill that will legalize marijuana in Illinois next year, marking a momentous shift in how the state treats drug use.

The bill will allow the licensed growth, sales, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

The signing ceremony, attended by several lawmakers, officeholders and marijuana supporters, took place at the Sankofa Cultural Arts & Business Center in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

Pritzker called the legislation a “sea change” for Illinois, saying that the war on drugs has destroyed families and disproportionately affected minorities.

“Illinoisans have had enough,” he said. “… The time for change has long since passed.”

A press release and fact sheet are here.

* CBS News

“Studies have shown time and time again that black and white people tend to use cannabis at the same rates, but black people are far more likely to be arrested for possession,” [Pritzker] said. “Criminalization offers nothing but pain, disruption, and injustice. The legislators and activists standing with me today have heard you.”

In addition to providing criminal-record scrubbing for past low-level offenders, the law gives preference to would-be marijuana vendors in areas of high poverty and records of large numbers of convictions. And portions of tax proceeds must be reinvested in impoverished communities.

* CBS 2

In addition to standard state and local taxes, the state would impose a 10% tax on all marijuana products with up to 35% THC, the chemical that gets marijuana users high. Marijuana products with THC concentrations of more than 35% would be taxed at 25%. Cannabis-infused products like edibles would be taxed at 20%.

Counties can add up to 3.75% for unincoprated areas and municipalities can add special taxes up to 3%.

The legislation also will effectively wipe clean previous small-time marijuana convictions.

The governor also will pardon all misdemeanor marijuana convictions involving less than 30 grams. Prosecutors or convicts could seek court orders to pardon and expunge records of convictions involving up to 500 grams.

* Sun-Times

“Change is hard, but an essential tenet of good governance is recognizing the need to change the laws that have failed,” Pritzker said before signing the bill at the Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center on the West Side. “In the past 50 years, the war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities.” […]

New conflict of interest provisions were also added, which ban lawmakers and their family members, as well as state employees, from being able to get a cannabis business license for two years. New changes also included strengthening language to ensure employers can maintain a zero tolerance drug policy.

Designed to address concerns about impaired driving, the bill also includes the addition of a DUI Task Force led by Illinois State Police to examine best practices. That includes examining emergency technology and roadside testing.

* Capitol News Illinois

The equity measures direct 25 percent of legalization revenues to a newly-established Restore, Reinvest and Renew Grant Program to “address the impact of economic disinvestment, violence, and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system,” according to a press release.

Legalization is expected to generate $57 million in the upcoming fiscal year and as much as $500 million a year when the industry is fully mature.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

55 Comments
  1. - Qualified Someone Nobody Sent - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    CONGRATULATIONS to the Legislature of Illinois for being the 1st State to legalize cannabis via State law. Thank you and Godspeed with the next social justice reform.


  2. - nastyapparatus - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    What’s the status of the medical expansion? Is that starting in January or upon signing?


  3. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    Were you able to grab any samples?


  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    1) Medical wasn’t signed today. It’s coming.

    2) There were no samples.


  5. - sulla - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Huge news for Illinois.

    Myself and my economic development colleagues have already been fielding tons of inquiries on dispensaries and cultivation projects. This bill is going to create a bunch of jobs and will help communities across the state fill up a lot of vacant real estate.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty Maria Juana is free at last. Good riddance to destructive Reefer Madness and utterly futile prohibition. So lucky to be alive to see this and thinking of the friends and family who are no longer with us, who would have loved it. It’s been a real long time coming.

    I didn’t see in articles if possession is legal right now, only that legalization/sales will take place on January 1. Does anyone know if simple possession of 30 grams is legal now?


  7. - dying HDO - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    I know stratton has a busy schedule but did she make the bill signing????


  8. - Johnnie F. - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    Finally, I’m proud of a state government making bold positive changes that a majority of residents want to see.


  9. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that the only state capital in the country to enact marijuana legalization is the only state capital in the country with Capitolfax.

    Thanks Rich for your tireless toil separating fact from fiction, your battle cries, and your pleas for peaceful cooperation.

    Aside from Governor Pritzker and lawmakers themselves, I don’t think anyone else deserves more credit.

    I am so old, I remember when the state’s largest daily newspaper use to lead Illinois on social issues. Now I chafe at the reference to Chicago as a “two-paper town.”

    CapitolFax and by extension Crain’s are driving forces in public policy. (I expect with the addition of A.D. Quig that will become even more true at Crain’s).


  10. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===Does anyone know if simple possession of 30 grams is legal now?===

    Not until Jan. 1st


  11. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    My prediction - corporate types and non-Black folks proper over the legalization of cannibis. African-American communities will continue to be decimated by illicit drug use. Marijuana will not benefit Black and Brown people.


  12. - Al - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    So what is it going to cost to get registered as a medical patient?
    Still $250 plus finger printing?
    Special thanks to those suffering who repeatedly drug themselves down to the Capitol to lobby for this kind of thing.

    Enjoy the puns.


  13. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    Everyone I know is appalled by this new law. Governor Pritzker, as with many of his priority bills, was deaf to their legitimate concerns and trepidations. The fallout from this new law is completely of his own making.


  14. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    I wish they’d earmark at least some of the tax proceeds toward drug treatment and rehab. I don’t know if MJ is actually a “gateway drug” or not (the two coke users I knew started with weed), but it would seem appropriate to expand treatment, especially since opiate use is so high.


  15. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    ===their legitimate concerns and trepidations===

    Can you please elaborate? What were/are these concerns?


  16. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    ===The fallout from this new law is completely of his own making.===

    And what would that fallout be exactly?


  17. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===I wish they’d earmark at least some of the tax proceeds toward drug treatment and rehab===

    My understanding is 20% of proceeds are going towards this very thing.


  18. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    Suggest the GA and Governor Pritzker pass a resolution asking for a recreational drug version of the 21st Amendment that repealed Prohibition. The federal government does not need a Constitutional Amendment, but there should be a law giving state laws on legalization precedence over federal law.

    The current unofficial agreement that the feds won’t prosecute is bad policy as it violates the rule of law.


  19. - Lt. Guv - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==I wish they’d earmark at least some of the tax proceeds toward drug treatment and rehab.==

    20% of the revenue is dedicated specifically for substance abuse and mental health treatment.


  20. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==Everyone I know is appalled by this new law.==

    Really? Because nobody I know is “appalled.”

    ==was deaf to their legitimate concerns and trepidations==

    There was quite a bit of back and forth on the law. Or by “deaf” do you mean that it shouldn’t have been signed in the first place? I suspect that’s your definition of being “deaf.” You didn’t get your way so he’s “deaf.”


  21. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Lt. and Cubs, thanks for the info, it was near the bottom of the linked press release. Reading is fundamental, especially if you do it. Good for the Pols for thinking it through, and the earmark being so large.


  22. - James Knell - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    There were times I wasn’t sure I would live to see this very happy day… so…

    A very happy summer
    And a happy new year
    Let’s hope it’s a good one
    Without any fear
    (drug) War is over,
    (drug) War is done

    Modified from John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over)


  23. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    Black Ivy, uhh beyond the one concern about those who suffered the most being locked out of legalization (which is a fair criticism and is addressed by the law) everything you said is flat wrong. Besides, this bill was bipartisan. There were Republicans voting yes on it.


  24. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Correct the use of “bill” to “law” in the second to last sentence.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    “Not until Jan. 1st”

    Thanks.

    How cool that it happened on a day The Rolling Stones are playing in Chicago. Since Mick seems to be up on Chicago/Illinois politics, maybe he can give a shout-out.


  26. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    This just in, Oswego Willy is first to receive misdemeanor conviction pardon.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    - pool boy -

    That’s true.

    But it’s under “Bill”.

    Only my mom and law enforcement call me “Bill”


  28. - Lake County Mom - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    According to the Suntimes…”In 2017 and the first four months of 2018, 94 people were busted in Chicago for petty marijuana possession. Seventy-six of them were black. Sixteen were Hispanic. Two were white.”

    This is after the city of Chicago decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.

    So anyone making the claim that legalizing pot will decimate communities of people of color have no idea what they’re talking about.


  29. - Harvest76 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==Everyone I know is appalled by this new law.==

    That says far more about the echo chamber in which you soapbox than about society as a whole.


  30. - regnaD kciN - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    “CONGRATULATIONS to the Legislature of Illinois for being the 1st State to legalize cannabis via State law.”

    “I don’t think it is a coincidence that the only state capital in the country to enact marijuana legalization is the only state capital in the country with Capitolfax.”

    Sorry folks, I believe Vermont in 2017 was the first state to have its legislative approve adult use of recreational marijuana.


  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    “Sorry folks, I believe Vermont in 2017 was the first state to have its legislative approve adult use of recreational marijuana.”

    For possession only, not for commercial sale. Our legalization is the first of its kind.


  32. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    The real good news. Oregon had such a bumper crop last year that they produced a 6.5 yr surplus. As more and more states get involved, this stuff will sell for pennies. I predict $4/bushel in 10 yrs. If we can get some Chinese export stuff going this will be the new industrial revolution


  33. - Alan - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Rich, Why didn’t the Governor sign the medical mj bill at the same time? Is there a timeline for him signing that one?


  34. - work in progress - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    Not sure how medical M stays relevant after the first , unless insurance covers minus copay and supplies. (doritos)


  35. - Vote Quimby - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    Sing it from the mountains! It may be enough to draw this prodigal son back home….


  36. - Alan - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    Much lower sales tax. And, Jan. is still 6 months away.


  37. - Windy City Mary - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    For those of you with questions about medical marijuana:
    1. Medical marijuana will still be available after January 1. It will be taxed at a lower rate so there will be an advantage to those who are using it for medical purposes. Still need background and fingerprint
    2. Opioid Alternative Pilot Program- provides prescribers with ability to certify patients who qualify for medical marijuana. This is valid for 90 days, $10 registration fee for patient, and NO fingerprint or background check required. will also be taxed at much lower rate. http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/opioid-alternative-pilot-program.


  38. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    =I know stratton has a busy schedule but did she make the bill signing????=

    She was there.


  39. - unlikely - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    this stuff is going to be taxed so hard not many will buy it, and instead will continue to go to their plug (whose prices will likely go down)


  40. - XonXoff - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    I’m impressed that it passed. I know it was a minefield. Not thrilled about them shuffling homegrow to only medical “patients” but I’ll get over it. I’ve realized an appreciation for them not simply jettisoning it altogether. In fact, I may eat my words (on CapFax) and get a med card after all. I’m old and sore enough to easily qualify for 2 or 3 of the new conditions in SB2023 so if pay to play for legal homegrown and a more versatile stash is a hundred bucks a year, I may buy the ticket. I’m not getting any younger and honestly never thought I’d live to see it legal to grow in Illinois in any form, short of a national change.

    Kudos to all and thanks to Rich, CapFax, and the community here for the discussion opportunities.


  41. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Finally we have ended such a devastating policy. Although there will likely be hiccups in the implementation, specifically product shortages and potential price gouging, IL can still capture the first mover advantage of the legal sales in midwest. Hopefully the craft grows can compete and the equity inclusion come to fruition but none of that would even be possible without passing the bill. Kudos to all those involved.


  42. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    == How cool that it happened on a day The Rolling Stones are playing in Chicago. Since Mick seems to be up on Chicago/Illinois politics, maybe he can give a shout-out.==

    I don’t think so. Mick is much cooler now that he is 75.

    What does it take to be a young Mick Jagger even in his 70s? He drinks minimally now and reports no use of drugs in decades.


  43. - unlikely - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    =Not sure how medical M stays relevant after the first , unless insurance covers minus copay and supplies. (doritos)=

    In states where it is already legal for both, medical patients get more of a selection of higher THC products and will be able to carry more on their person, as well as be able to grow 5 plants.

    So now i can have my 2.5 OZ every two weeks, grow my own weed, and keep all that I grow.

    Glad the medical program is expanding! Hope to see more individuals take advantage of this.

    I also will assume that rec. will be taxed at a much higher rate than medical. (and medical is already way more expensive than my local dealer)


  44. - Just doing time - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Idoc currently has a 0 tolerance for employees.(automatic termination)Wonder if that will change? On a side note I’ve talked to several convicted drug dealer recently who are excited because they believe legalization will up their business.One said that after everybody gets tired of paying over inflated prices on legally taxed weed, businesses will be booming.


  45. - Kayak - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    Hallelujah. I’m looking forward to Willie Nelson this Friday in Tinley Park. I’d love to see J.B. introduce him.


  46. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:33 pm:

    Everyone I know is thrilled by this new law. Hoping Rich got a signing pen. This blog, with topics by Rich, led the public dialogue on the issue for many years.


  47. - LakeCo - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    Just got back from the West Coast where weed is legal and saw a glimpse of our future. Black Ivy, no need to worry about the fallout. Sure, there was an excessive amount of tie-dye and dreadlocks, but the fabric of society seemed to be holding together nicely.


  48. - mana - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    People need to know you can Not smoke Marijuana and drive - the same as alcohol.


  49. - Rich’s parents - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    Just want to say thanks for all you did to make this law possible. Enough is enough on a law criminalizing marijuana that put so many non-violent offenders behind bars and ruined their lives. Proud Mom and Dad!!!!


  50. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 6:31 pm:

    =One said that after everybody gets tired of paying over inflated prices on legally taxed weed, businesses will be booming.=

    I think the moonshiners had a similar economic model. But when was the last time you bought bathtub hooch? Your drug dealers might want to take a closer look at how things are working out in Colorado.


  51. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 9:00 pm:

    I heard an interesting one on squak box the other day. If the feds ever legalize weed, the FTC would have to allow interstate trade only subject to state taxes on entry equal to product produced in state.


  52. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 9:58 pm:

    Is that $500 million of tax revenue or just revenue in general? If it is the former then that is a pretty big deal.

    I wonder how they came up with that projection?

    Should be seeing a lot of Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri license plates at dispensaries after January 1.


  53. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 7:15 am:

    Jagger did give a shout-out to Pritzker and marijuana legalization. So cool that he follows our political happenings.


  54. - MG85 - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 7:44 am:

    ==IDOC doesn’t allow marijuana use. I wonder if that will change.==

    Not until a cheap process is created to test for whether or not someone is intoxicated when they come into work.

    Until then, it’s the employer’s right to prohibit its use by the employees.


  55. - Maryjane - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    Recently relocated from California where I was a Medical Cannabis patient prior to legalization there, I’m grateful this got done quickly. On one hand listening to the atavistic, false, often silly and increasingly shrill enmity put forth by prohibitionists is incredibly offensive, on the other, in retrospect the hysterics regurgitated by the opposition are to some degree helpful in illustrating our points. They also have forever identified themselves as untrustworthy and mean-spirited (and if Republican, awkwardly opposed to personal liberty and state’s rights, imo).

    Regarding the “gateway drug” argument: The gate swings both ways. If one has to purchase Cannabis from a street dealer, even in a nice area, there’s a good chance the dealer may offer something harder. Never once as a patient for nearly ten years, and then after, as an adult-use customer, have I been offered anything other than Cannabis at a dispensary. In fact, my first visit to my Dr., I told him I required safe-access, in part, because I was fed-up with dealers(and their inevitable camp-followers and drama) and the ever-present powder/hard stuff (and cops) that was around. He enthusiastically agreed with my assessment and smiled warmly as he signed the form. My final visit I had a similar supportive conversation about my decision to abstain from alcohol. Many older people like myself, who have enjoyed safe-access to Cannabis have similar experiences about the ‘gateway; indeed that to better health and happiness, and a much more sustainable relationship to substance use than that of our forebears.


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