Illinois Marijuana Legalization's Next Steps—Stores Open Jan. 1 – Leafly

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made history today by signing a bill legalizing the adult use of cannabis in the Land of Lincoln. Pritzker might as well fire a starting gun.

Gov. J. B. Pritzker holds a bill that legalizes adult-use cannabis in the state of Illinois Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center in Chicago. Illinois becomes the 11th to legalize the adult-use of recreational marijuana. (Amr Alfiky/AP Photo)

The race is now on to get about 55 Illinois adult-use stores open, serve potentially millions of customers, and dismantle the decades-old drug war machine. Aspiring retailers have just weeks to apply for licenses. Illinois state agencies must immediately start creating programs to license them. People currently facing low-level marijuana charges can petition to have cases dropped effective immediately.

To give you an idea of how far we’ve come: California’s 1996 medical marijuana law, the nation’s first, could fit on a postcard. The bill signed into law by Pritzker today ran to more than 600 pages.

We read the entire 610-page bill so you don’t have to. Here’s what happens next in a legalized Illinois.

(Julia Sumpter/Leafly) Stores Open Jan. 1, 2020 The first wave of retail sales will occur at existing medical cannabis dispensaries that obtain a license allowing them to expand into adult-use sales. As many as 55 dispensaries could have adult-use licenses by Jan. 1. Only adults 21 and older with valid ID may purchase. Taxes will run about 25% at the register (including 7% cultivation, 10% state sales, 3.75% county sales, and 3% city sales). Products on sale will initially be sourced through the state’s medical cannabis system and its producers. Illinois’ 67,000 qualified patients will have cannabis reserved for them, as well. Personal Rights Kick in Jan. 1, 2020, Too

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