Illinois Cannabis Seed Laws

As mentioned in News Joint Grow Journal 2, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Illinois House Bill 1438) has forced registered medical patients into a gray area of the law because Illinois requires p… Recreational cannabis use was legalised in Illinois in 2019; the 11th state to lift the ban. It will be legal to use and sell the plant from 2020. Read on. Find marijuana seeds in Illinois cultivated with high quality growing practices and seed genetics, Mosca Seeds has the strains for you.

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Opinion: Botched Illinois cannabis law creates silver lining

As mentioned in News Joint Grow Journal 2, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Illinois House Bill 1438) has forced registered medical patients into a gray area of the law because Illinois requires patients to purchase cannabis seeds from dispensaries. However, Illinois dispensaries have not and do not sell cannabis genetics (they’ve accidently sold seeds inside eighths of flower). The law also states that seeds, cuts, and clones are not to be gifted or exchanged between patients.

Essentially, Illinois has caused registered medical patients, who want to procure seeds and grow their own medicine, to become criminals or go without. Illinois legislatures are working on a solution to this snafu in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, but in the meantime, the Illinois cannabis industry market has adjusted and moved forward, with or without the State of Illinois’ consent.

Why do dispensaries not sell seeds? Creating stable genetics takes time, extra space, and expert resources, and in general, dispensaries want patients to buy flower from their cultivators, not grow medicine for themselves. In addition, the law is not black and white in how Illinois dispensary, cultivators, and brands are to legally go about procuring and selling genetics.

“How do I get seeds?” is one of the most ask questions we receive from medical patients. The patients I know or have communicated with desperately want to follow the law but are confused by where and how to purchase legal seeds or overwhelmed by the amount of choices offered.

Plenty of breeders and seed banks exist in the Unites States and across the pond, but plenty of scammers also exist. “Non-cannafam” patients who just want to grow their own medicine do not know the intricacies of the “seed bank and breeder industry” or of international, federal, or Illinois laws regarding seeds. They just want to grow their own personalized medicine in peace.

Without the State of Illinois changing or even publicity addressing this flaw in the law, the cannabis industry market, as markets do, has moved on without the State of Illinois. The biggest silver lining to this botched part of the law is that the free market has found a better process and solution for patients to procure seeds than patients would have had if dispensaries sold genetics.

For the last twenty months, Illinois “grow shops” have filled the demand for seeds by stocking a wide variety of genetics for medical patients. The market’s solution to the flawed law, I believe, has worked out exponentially more beneficial for patients than dispensaries could have offered for the following reason:

  • Selection: grow shops are offering a greater variety of selection than Illinois dispensaries would have been able to offer. And why would an Illinois patient want to continually grow strains that only Illinois offers? The point to growing your own medicine is to grow the exact strain the gives the patient the most relief.
  • Quality: grow shops are offering top-notch genetics from the best breeders around. Patients don’t have to worry about the quality of the genetics, because grow shop owners and staff members are usually growers themselves and know the difference.
  • Cheaper: It’s difficult to judge what prices Illinois dispensaries would charge for seeds, but if Illinois cannabis-product prices are any indication, then the grow shops are surely selling the genetics cheaper than patients would have had to pay at dispensaries.
  • Better access: Now that grow shops carry genetics, patients do not have to order seeds online or through the mail and risk breaking the law, losing the seeds in delivery, scammers, and other complications. Grow shops are already strategically placed throughout Illinois and accessible to most Illinoisans, and each month new grow shops are opening.
  • Supports local businesses: Grow shops are local. Most grow shops have been around and are well established in the community, often for longer than local dispensaries. Buying from grow shops invest not only in the community but also supports the “local grow community” that grow shops have already garnered, supported, and advocated for.
  • Patient access to expertise: grow shops, as mention, are usually owned and staffed by medical patients who have experience growing their own medicine. Grow shops employees (with some exceptions I’m sure) better understand strain lineages and medical effects. We constantly hear about “patient specialist” at dispensaries incorrectly “weedsplaining” strains and effects to patients. Now image the advice a patient would get about genetics from a dispensary “specialist” who has never grown medicine. Getting bad advice on an eighth of flower is one thing. Image ruining a patient’s entire grow with bad advice.
  • Patient support: growing is a long-term project, and grow shops can better supply follow up questions and solutions to problems for a patient’s first or one-hundredth grow. Grow shops also supply the exact equipment a patient needs to germinate, grow, and harvest medicine. Growing is a series of adjustment, and access to expertise and equipment is a great benefit.
  • Grow community: maybe the most overlooked benefit of purchasing genetics at grow shops is the chance to become part of a local “grow community” to help expand knowledge, make new likeminded friends, and become an overall better grower. Legalization has offered the benefit of sharing classes and other sources on how to grow your own medicine that were not available even five years ago. Take advantage of it.
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The frustration and contempt that seeps through this opinion piece, even when I am purposely trying not to, is not aimed toward the State of Illinois, legislatures, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, or Illinois Department of Agriculture. I’m a lifetime Illinoisan: born, raised, and educated. I expect Illinois to be Illinois.

This frustration and contempt spawns from empathy and concern I feel for fellow patients, who have been placed in an untenable situation. I have heard their confusion and frustration firsthand. Some have even felt intimidated by the law.

When I first started News Joint Grow Journal and ran across this problem, I wanted Illinois to fix it. I’ve changed my mind.

The market has spoken and fixed a problem for medical patients that Illinois itself created. Illinois and dispensaries now need to stay away from selling seeds, and Illinois should instead write into the law a legal way for patients, grow shops, breeders, and “the grow community” to continue what the they have already created. This market adjustment for patients already functions smoother than nearly every other aspect of the law.

Cannabis in Illinois – Laws, Use, and History

In 2019, Illinois became the eleventh US state to legalise recreational cannabis use. As of 2020, individuals can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flowers, which can be purchased from licenced vendors and dispensaries. Cannabis cultivation is still illegal though, unless it’s for medicinal purposes, and the grower has a Medical Marijuana card.

    • Recreational cannabis
    • Legal
    • Medicinal cannabis
    • Legal since 2013

    Cannabis laws in Illinois

    The US is governed by federal and state laws. This article covers the cannabis laws in the state of Illinois. For US federal laws, please visit this page.

    Can you possess and use cannabis in Illinois?

    In June 2019, Illinois’ Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill to legalise recreational cannabis in the state. This makes Illinois the eleventh state in the US to do so. They are also the US’s first state to legalise recreational cannabis through its legislature.

    The legalization came into effect on January 1 st , 2020, and all adults aged 21 and older may purchase recreational cannabis from licensed retailers in Illinois. The bill states:

    • A medical cannabis card won’t be required to purchase it.
    • Using cannabis is permitted in the individual’s home, or on-site in approved cannabis-related premises.
    • Use is forbidden in any public place, in a motor vehicle, or on the grounds of an educational establishment. Students with medical marijuana cards may continue to use the drug at school, as per their physician’s guidelines.
    • Cannabis use is also forbidden near anyone under the age of 21.
    • It’s also forbidden near a police officer, firefighter, corrections officer, or on-duty school bus driver.

    Purchase and possession limits for recreational cannabis are slightly different for Illinois residents and non-residents:

    • For instate residents, 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrates, or 500 mg of cannabis-infused edibles, can be purchased.
    • Non-residents can purchase 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of concentrate, or 250 mg of cannabis-infused products.
    Cannabis taxes

    Illinois’ government has proposed tax rates on cannabis purchases. For cannabis flowers or other products containing under 35% of THC, there will be a 10% sales tax. Products infused with cannabis (such as tinctures or edibles) will have a 20% tax. Any other cannabis product with THC levels of over 35% will come with a 25% tax. Individual counties and cities in Illinois may also add extra local sales taxes.

    The legislation proposes that the tax revenue will be used to regenerate poorer communities. When speaking about the changes to the law, Gov. Pritzker commented: “Legalising adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do.”

    Existing criminal records for cannabis possession

    In addition to legalising recreational cannabis, the new law may also expunge cannabis-possession criminal records for 800,000 people in the state.

    Anyone with an existing conviction for possessing under 30 grams of cannabis will have their records sent to a Prisoner Review Board. Once reviewed, they’ll be passed on to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a pardon. Providing the offences aren’t connected with a violent crime, the record will be expunged.

    Can you sell cannabis in Illinois?

    Previously, only patients holding a valid Medical Cannabis card could purchase medicinal cannabis in Illinois. On June 25, 2019, Illinois made history by becoming the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis. Since the 1 st of January, 2020, adults aged 21 and older may purchase recreational cannabis from licensed retailers in Illinois.

    Indeed, the early signs are promising. In September 2020, recreational cannabis sales hit a record high, with close to $64 million worth of the drug being sold in the previous month alone. In 2020, total sales reached $1.03 billion, including $669 million in recreational cannabis and more than $366 million in medicinal purchases.

    In May 2021, according to the state of Illinois, throughout the 110 licensed dispensaries, over 2.5 million cannabis products were sold. State residents accounted for approximately $80 million, and sales increased from out of state residents who spent close to $37 million on cannabis related products.

    MJBizDaily estimates that as many as 295 stores could be up and running by 2022, which would be 2.3 stores per 100,000 residents.

    Kris Krane, one of the founders and president of 4Front Holdings, commented: “It’s a state of 13 million people with a very large tourist population in the Chicago area, so I think the business opportunities are huge.”

    Can you grow cannabis in Illinois?

    Unlike other US states that have legalised recreational cannabis, Illinois will not be legalising personal cannabis cultivation. It will remain illegal to grow cannabis plants at home (even in limited numbers), unless the grower is a medicinal cannabis patient. If the individual has a Medical Marijuana card, they can grow up to five plants at a time.

    If caught cultivating up to five cannabis plants at home (without a medical ID card), the offender will be given a civil penalty of $200. Growing five to 20 plants is regarded as a felony, and is punishable with a one to six-year prison sentence, plus a fine of $25,000. 20 to 50 plants can result in a prison term of two to 10 years, and the same fine, and if caught growing 50 to 200 plants, the prison sentence is raised to three to 14 years, and a $100,000 fine. Over 200 plants will result in a four to 30-year prison term, plus a $100,000 fine.

    Licenced cultivation

    From the start of 2020, licences will be gradually issued to companies in the state. These will be ‘craft growers’, who can apply for licences to cultivate as much as 5,000 square feet of cannabis crops.

    Is CBD legal in Illinois?

    The law is slightly ambiguous when it comes to CBD products. In Illinois, CBD is technically legal, as the state’s Cannabis Control Act (which set up a hemp research pilot programme) permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp. The federal Farm Bill also made hemp cultivation legal across the country.

    As such, CBD products are widely sold in Illinois, and can be legally purchased and used, but there are certain ‘grey areas’, particularly regarding CBD-infused edibles.

    Can cannabis seeds be sent to Illinois?

    Cannabis seeds can be legally purchased and sold in the state. However, they must be ungerminated, as cultivation is still illegal. Sending cannabis seeds through the post can also be legally problematic (especially if the package passes through other states where the seeds are banned). Anecdotal reports claim that some seed parcels have been held at customs.

    Medicinal cannabis in Illinois

    Surprisingly, Illinois could have been one of the US’s first states to legalise medicinal cannabis use. In 1978, it passed the Cannabis Control Act, but in order for the law to fully come into force, the Human Services department and the State Police needed to take action. Neither did so, which meant that medicinal cannabis didn’t become legal until many years later.

    In 2013, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was passed. This legalised medicinal cannabis use, but only in extremely tightly controlled circumstances. The programme was signed into law in the same year, making Illinois the 20 th state to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.

    Recognised conditions

    Illinois has a long list of health conditions that have been approved for medicinal cannabis treatment. These include:

    In order to qualify for medicinal cannabis treatment in Illinois, the patient must be over 18 (or if a minor, must have an adult caregiver and certification from two physicians). They must also be a resident of the state and must have been formally diagnosed with one of the listed conditions.

    Industrial hemp in Illinois

    After the Farm Bill was passed at federal level (legalising hemp cultivation), the US states swiftly began to pass state laws, permitting farmers to grow hemp in their region.

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker, together with Illinois Department of Agriculture, opened up licencing in April 2019. In the first two days, 350 applications had been received, from farmers and processors wanting to start planting the crop.

    “Industrial hemp is a potentially billion-dollar industry that Illinois will now take part in,” Pritzker commented. “This will have a massive impact on our state’s economy.”

    Good to know

    If you are travelling to Illinois (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:

    • Illinois’ medicinal cannabis programme has proven to be lucrative for the state. In 2018, dispensary sales generated $133 million, and patient enrolment rose by 66%.
    • In Chicago, 74% of citizens supported the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
    • In September 2019, Chicago hosts its first industrial cannabis expo.

    Cannabis history

    In 1931, Illinois was one of the earlier US states to ban recreational cannabis use; six years before the national prohibition law was passed. This anti-cannabis stance was maintained for several decades, though the rise of hippy culture in the 1960s challenged the status quo.

    The situation started to change in 1978, when the state passed the Cannabis Control Act. This sought to legalise medical cannabis use, providing the State Police and Department of Human Services created the necessary drug policies to manage the new law. Neither department did so, and as such, the Cannabis Control Act never came into action.

    In 2013, Illinois became the 20 th state in the country to legalise medicinal cannabis use. Then, in 2019, it became the eleventh state to legalise recreational use too.

    Related post

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    Attitudes towards cannabis

    Attitudes towards cannabis in Illinois are relatively positive. In a recent study, 74.4% of people expressed support for legalising recreational cannabis, with only 21% opposing it. In the 35 and under age group, 83% supported it. Although the age group with the least support was 66 years and over, they still demonstrated majority support – 51%.

    While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide legal advice, as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

    Comments

    1 thought on “Cannabis in Illinois – Laws, Use, and History”

    I was a typical pothead till 2020. Since then, I’m a typical grower, I have my medical card. It’s not a weed, its a flower, technically….

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    Author and reviewer

    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.

    Maurice Veldman

    Maurice Veldman is a member of the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers and one of the Netherlands’ most notable cannabis lawyers. With 25 years’ experience in the field, his knowledge of criminal and administrative law supports cannabis sellers and hemp producers by addressing the inequalities between the individual and the state.

    ILLINOIS

    Illinois is known for a lot of great things like the home of Chicago, great sports fans, awesome food, museums, Abe Lincoln’s hometown and much more. Illinois is also the 11 th state to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults, which took effect January 1 st , 2020.

    People of all ages are realizing the benefits of marijuana, whether for medicinal purposes or just to chill out after a long day. There is an increased awareness of the benefits of cannabis by all generations, who now look at marijuana as a fine wine – a wonderful way to relax with endless choices of flavors.

    Marijuana Laws in Illinois

    In addition to statewide legalization, voters in six Chicago suburbs passed measures at the ballot box November 3 rd , 2020, paving the way for recreational pot dispensaries in Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village, Park Ridge, Wilmette, Glen Ellyn and Batavia, with many additional suburbs expected to follow suit. Consumers 21 years of age and older can purchase marijuana products with or without a medical marijuana card.

    Growing your own pot gives you a chance to try out different strains, to learn what you like and what works the best for you. Even though you can now buy weed at a dispensary, you can experiment with different strains and save a lot of money by growing your own. If you’re looking for cannabis seeds in Illinois, award-winning breeder Mosca Seeds offers high-quality marijuana seeds originating from only the finest in cannabis genetics.

    Is it Legal to Grow Pot in Illinois?

    If you are interested in growing your own pot in Illinois, you should know that it is legal to grow up to 5 marijuana plants at one time as long as you are registered to grow for medicinal purposes. There are many health conditions that accept marijuana as medical treatment with a list of conditions available from the Illinois Department of Public Health .

    Initially, only the existing licensed cultivation facilities for medical marijuana were licensed to grow. Starting in 2020, “craft growers” have been able to apply for a license to use up to 5,000 square feet for cultivation.

    If you’re registered to use medical marijuana you can carry up to 2.5 ounces, Illinois residents without a medical card can carry up to 30 grams of flower (about an ounce) and non-residents can legally have up to 15 grams of bud on them in the State of Illinois.

    How to Grow Cannabis in Chilly Illinois Weather

    We love Illinois, but it can get very chilly in the winter, and not just in the windy city. Winter in the Midwest can make it difficult to grow anything other than your seasonal flowers or personal veggie garden during the warm summer months. This can make it difficult to cultivate marijuana outdoors as cannabis thrives in warmer temperatures.

    Growing indoors in cooler climates like Illinois is the best way to control the environment and keep your plants healthy when cooler weather hits. Some cannabis seed strains can be heartier than others and feminized, auto flowering plants will produce bud faster, although if you want to grow plants all year long in the Midwest, indoor cultivation is the only way to go. Check out some of our hydroponic partners in Chicagoland like RainMakers Supply , Brew and Grow, Simple Soil, and Home Grown Supplies for premium equipment and supplies and check out our Growing page for more tips.

    Whether growing indoors or outdoors during the season, quality cannabis seeds will determine the quality of your plant. Choosing the perfect cannabis seeds for beginners can seem overwhelming with so many options. If you’re looking to buy cannabis seeds in Illinois, Mosca Seeds has the perfect strain for you with premium seeds hand selected to deliver the highest quality available. Our award-winning seed genetics offer the perfect growing solution for anyone to easily grow their own medicine.

    Mosca Seeds is recognized internationally with multiple Cannabis Cup awards, earning the respect of entrepreneurs and cannabis connoisseurs worldwide. We offer a wide selection of quality seeds originating from high quality seed strain genetics. Contact us with any questions and check out our authorized seed bank to find the best marijuana seeds in Illinois.

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