Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and using recreational marijuana in Illinois in 2020 and beyond.
Who will be able to obtain it?
In Illinois, anybody over the age of 21 can legally purchase recreational cannabis from a dispensary. Even visitors from outside Illinois can purchase it while in the state.
I’d like to get it, but I’m not sure where to get it.
Only state-approved shops sell recreational cannabis. There are currently 34 locations across the state, including Illinois Supply and Provisions, which is located at 1014 Eastport Plaza Drive in Collinsville.
On Jan. 1, the online dispensary Canada will be the only one in the Metro East to sell recreational marijuana.
What should I bring with me to a dispensary?
Bring a valid government-issued photo ID with your name, age, and current address. Dispensaries will scan IDs to prove they’re real, like they do in other weed-legal states, but they’re not allowed to keep track of who visits and how often. Parts of the cannabis law were meant to preserve the privacy of consumers.
Medical patients must still bring their program registered ID card, which does not affect the rules.
Payment should be brought with you. Cash or, in certain situations, debit cards are the only options right now. Cannabis cannot currently be purchased using credit cards or checks. The majority of dispensaries will have ATMs on site. Debit cards will be accepted at Illinois Supply and Provisions in Collinsville.
What is the maximum amount I can acquire and how much will it cost?
Whether you live in Illinois or not makes a difference. Residents of Illinois can purchase:
- Amount of cannabis flower: up to 30 grams
- A cannabis-infused product, such as an edible, can contain up to 500 milligrams of THC.
- Cannabis concentrate up to 5 grams
- Out-of-state residents are only allowed to purchase half of those amounts.
These figures reflect possession limits, according to the law. It’s illegal, for example, to go from dispensary to dispensary and buy 30 grams of cannabis at each. The totals are also cumulative, so someone can have as many products as they want in each category.
Kathleen Olivastro, Regional Director of Illinois Supply and Provisions, would not say how much individual goods will cost at the Collinsville facility since costs will fluctuate as the Illinois cannabis market develops. She did recommend that first-time dispensary visitors set aside $150 to $200 in their budget.
Is it possible to try before I buy?
No, not at this time. In the future, some dispensaries may include “on-site consumption lounges.” Local governments would have to license and approve these.
Will the Metro East see an increase of dispensaries? When?
Yes. The Green Solution, a medical marijuana shop in Sauget, has requested for a “dual use” license, which would allow it to sell both medical and recreational marijuana, but the state has not yet accepted it.
Any existing medicinal dispensary can also seek for a license to open a second site in the same region under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. By the end of March, Ascend Illinois, which owns Illinois Supply and Provisions in Collinsville, plans to build a second shop in Fairview Heights. The Green Solution also intends to open a second location, but is still looking for one.
Illinois will also issue 75 dispensary licenses to applicants who do not already operate a medicinal dispensary, but they will not be issued until May 1. Up to four of the new permits will be issued in the Metro East.
Where can I get my stuff consumed?
For the time being, I’ll keep it private. This includes homes, apartments, and other privately owned property. Landlords have the authority to restrict cannabis use in their buildings. Before smoking inside your home, it’s a good idea to verify with your landlord.
What about my profession? Even if marijuana is legal, can my boss dismiss me?
Yes. Employers in Illinois have a lot of leeway under the state’s cannabis law to maintain drug-free policies if they choose to. Not every employer will decide to prohibit employees from using marijuana. Before consuming in the new year, check with your supervisor or human resources department to see what your company’s unique drug policy are.
Because recreational cannabis is not legal in Missouri, the laws for employers remain unchanged.
Is there going to be enough cannabis?
Probably not at first, but this is to be expected in a new recreational industry. According to Olivastro, the state of Illinois is now experiencing a lack of cannabis flower. As cannabis production catches up, dispensaries are likely to run out of several goods in the initial months of 2020.
Dispensaries must also retain adequate merchandise on hand to accommodate the state’s existing medical patients. Recreational supplies will be turned off first if they run out. According to Olivastro, every fresh marijuana Illinois Supply and Provisions receives is given to medical patients first.
What if I live in the state of Missouri? Is it legal for me to bring my marijuana back across the river?
To legally consume marijuana in Illinois, you must be a resident of the state. It is illegal to transport cannabis over state lines, even if it was acquired legally.
Those found in Missouri with marijuana purchased legally in Illinois might face fines of up to $2,000 and probable jail time, depending on the amount of marijuana.
On January 1, I intend to travel to Collinsville to purchase legal marijuana. Is there anything more I should know?
The dispensary will open at 7 a.m. at 1014 Eastport Plaza Drive in Collinsville. Medical patients will be able to skip any lineups because marijuana will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
There will also be lines. According to Olivastro, the dispensary anticipates a large number of visitors in the first few days of 2020. To speed up the purchasing procedure, the dispensary will have pamphlets and workers working outside to answer clients’ inquiries, she said.