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Illinois Senate Passes Bill That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Illinois is one step closer to having legal recreational marijuana. 

Rolling Stone reports that a marijuana legalization bill was approved by the Illinois Senate in a bipartisan 38-to-17 vote. Pro-legalization Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) had this to say on Twitter:

The basics of the bill are as follows. It would allow Illinois residents aged 21 or older to legally consume cannabis and possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, up to five grams of cannabis concentrates and a maximum of 500 milligrams of THC in edibles. Individuals would also be able to grow up to five plants at home. Visitors from out-of-state would be permitted to possess half of what Illinois residents can. 

Gov. Pritzer previously called the bill the most equity-centric law in the nation”, due to its social justice provisions, which would wipe out the minor cannabis convictions of an estimated 800,000 people.

However, the bill was amended to change rules on home growing. Originally, the bill would have allowed any adult to grow up to five plants per household, under certain conditions. Now, that rule applies only to Illinois medical marijuana patients, though non-patients with plants would receive only a civil infraction and a fine.

So what’s next? Should the House approve the bill before Friday, Gov. Pritzker will sign it into law, recreational adult use cannabis will become legal on New Year’s Day 2020, and dispensaries will be able to apply for licenses and have them approved by May 1st, 2020.

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