* Tom Schuba with the Sun-Times…
After criticism from health advocates, lawmakers moved to curtail provisions in the state’s legalization law — dashing the hopes of some business owners who sought to allow pot use at their restaurants, bars and even beauty shops when adult recreational use becomes legal Jan. 1.
The law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June would have allowed municipalities to regulate pot use at cannabis businesses, though health advocates and even some legislators who helped pass that law said they weren’t aware of that, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in June. It gave an exemption to the Smoke Free Illinois Act to those establishments and other businesses that receive local governments’ approval for on-site consumption.
The new legislation says on-site consumption will be allowed only at dispensaries where marijuana is sold and at licensed smoke shops which — similar to cigar shops — will be granted an exemption to the smoke-free law.
* Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News Illinois…
The bill also clarifies a “revolving door” provision of the law by prohibiting future members of the General Assembly and their families from having a direct financial ownership interest in a cannabis business until two years after that lawmaker leaves public office. […]
Villanueva said lawmakers who were in the chamber during the passage of the original cannabis bill and their spouses “currently have a lifetime ban on being able to have a stakeholder ownership” in the cannabis industry. The new language change applies the two-year ban to future lawmakers and their immediate family members. […]
The bill also provides that marijuana-related paraphernalia would no longer be illegal in Illinois. But it would remain illegal to operate a snowmobile or any kind of watercraft while under the influence of marijuana.
Steans said it also strengthens and clarifies language that would allow employers to maintain zero-tolerance policies. It also cleans up language in the portion of the bill that expunges criminal records for people who have standalone marijuana convictions on their records, specifically ensuring that outstanding fines do not limit access to expungement.
* By Jim Moran at The Center Square…
Counties and cities that voted to tax recreational cannabis will be able to begin collecting sales tax on local cannabis sales on July 1, not Sept. 1.
Like some other laws like liquor regulation, the cannabis law forbade Illinois’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rulemaking from making small administrative changes as the committee would on many other issues, so lawmakers must take on the task of making even small changes via the formal statute amendment process.
* Statement from Gov. Pritzker…
“As Illinois prepares to launch legal adult-use cannabis, this legislation will strengthen the most equity- cannabis law in the nation, especially with stronger provisions to prevent conflicts of interest among elected officials and provide more information to people whose records will be expunged,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront than any other state in the nation, and we’re ensuring that communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs have the opportunity to participate.”