As we wrote about here, Illinois lawmakers last month passed a bill designed to clean up parts of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Yesterday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed that bill into law at a ceremony at Cabrini Green Legal Aid. In short, the trailer bill (1) clarifies that public consumption of cannabis may only take place in certain dispensaries and tobacco shops that have local government approval, (2) requires lawmakers taking office during or after 2021 to wait two years after leaving office before owing an interest in a licensed Illinois cannabis company (lawmakers in office at the time of passage have a lifetime ban on ownership), (3) allows local governments to begin collecting a marijuana tax two months earlier—July 2020 rather than September 2020, and (4) permits medical patients between 18 and 20 to smoke marijuana rather than just being limited to edibles.
While this initial trailer bill was focused on technical changes, more substantive changes could be on the way. “We did not want to go back and revisit policy at this point in time,” said Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), one of the architects of the initial legalization legislation. “We know we may do that going forward, but we want to first get this up and running and see how it actually works.”
Please check our blog for updates, as we will be following any additional amendments closely.