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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted today to allow adults over the age of 21 to legally purchase and possess cannabis in Illinois.

“There are thousands of Illinoisans who are already using cannabis recreationally,” Bennett said. “This is an opportunity to bring existing illegal sales into the light where they can be taxed and regulated to ensure that adults are using a safe, reliable product.”

Under House Bill 1438, Illinois residents would be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product. The legal cannabis market will be based on Illinois’ medical cannabis system, one of the most well-regulated in the country. Cannabis products will be tested extensively to ensure their safety, and businesses will be required to label products with test results and product warnings to inform individuals of potency and serving size.  

The legislation also includes provisions affording local control to towns and municipalities to allow local governments to limit the operation of cannabis businesses in their communities or choose to prevent these businesses from operating altogether. They are also permitted to enact ordinances restricting or allowing public consumption.

Additionally, revenue from taxes on recreational sales would be earmarked for law enforcement, public education campaigns, substance abuse treatment and other programs to help communities affected by the war on drugs.

“I am encouraged that this proposal recognizes that every community is different and will allow local governments to tailor the legalization process to better meet the needs of their communities, residents, and businesses,” Bennett said.  

The legislation will now move to the House for concurrence.

 
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