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Cannabis cleanup clears both chambers

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    Is the Joint Committee on Administrative Rulemaking a new committee for the marijuana industry?


  2. - Lt Guv - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    No. JCAR is the joint legislative committee that reviews,approves or rejects rules proposed by the state agencies. It’s been around a long time.


  3. - JM - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    Notice how cannabis bill sponsor Kelly Cassidy go an exemption for her wife, to cash in on the cannabis wave:

    “The measure also amends a conflict-of-interest provision that was added after it was reported that state Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, D-Chicago, was leading a company that intends to enter the industry. Starting in June 2021, members of the Illinois General Assembly and their immediate family members will be prohibited from holding an ownership stake in any cannabis firm licensed in Illinois within two years of the legislator leaving office. Any member or family member who has an interest in a weed business will have to divest within a year of the provision’s effective date.

    The provision won’t apply to Candace Gingrich — the spouse of state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, another Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legalization law — who in July was named vice president and head of business development for Revolution Florida, a sister company to the Illinois cannabis firm Revolution Enterprises.

    ‘Candace is an employee with no involvement in Illinois business and no ownership,’ Cassidy said.”

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/2019/11/14/20965723/recreational-marijuana-consumption-dispensaries-bars-cannabis-illinois


  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    “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“

    Darn it. A salon visit and smoke would have been real nice.

    “and at licensed smoke shops which — similar to cigar shops — will be granted an exemption to the smoke-free law”

    That’s good, at least.


  5. - Nick Name - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    *Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Not “Rulemaking,” Center Square.


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