Chicago Mayor Proposes Decriminalizing Cannabis, Defelonizing Drug Possession in Illinois

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on lawmakers Tuesday to reform the state’s drug policies, including decriminalizing cannabis possession.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Mayor Emanuel today called on the Illinois State Legislature to reform sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses, keeping non-violent offenders from a lifetime in the criminal justice system, saving taxpayer dollars, and allowing police to focus on more serious crimes”, the Mayor’s office said in a press release. “The Mayor’s proposal calls for a new state law that would reduce possession of one gram or less of any controlled substance in Illinois from a Class Four Felony to a Class A Misdemeanor. The proposal would also expand Chicago’s municipal ordinance, passed in 2012, making possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis a ticketable offense statewide”

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Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program to Begin Accepting Applications for Patients and Businesses in September

On September 2nd, the State of Illinois will begin accepting applications from residents who would like to become registered medical cannabis patients or caregivers in the state’s newly-launched Medical Cannabis Pilot Prillinoismedicalogram.

Applicants with last names that begin with letters A through L will have until the end of October to submit an application; patients who are approved will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces in a 14 day period.

The application period for cultivation centers and dispensaries will begin on September 8th, and extend through September 22nd. Dispensaries will be required to prove they have at least $400,000 in liquid assets, and will have to pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee. Cultivation centers will be required to have at least $500,000 in liquid assets, and pay an application fee of $25,000. A total of 60 dispensaries and 22 cultivation centers will be licensed throughout the state.

Read moreIllinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program to Begin Accepting Applications for Patients and Businesses in September

Illinois Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill Into Law

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hashemp signed House Bill 5085 into law, a proposal to allow universities and the state’s Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp. The bill was passed unanimously in the state’s Senate in May, and was approved by the House shortly after with an 81 to 34 vote.

Under the new law, an institution of higher education and the state’s Department of Agriculture is authorized to cultivate hemp if their studying the growth, cultivation and marketing of the plant.

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Illinois Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Cannabis for Children and Adults with Epilepsy

A proposal that legalizes medical cannabis for those with epilepsy – including minors – has been signed into law by Illinois Governor Pay Quinnillinois. The measure, Senate Bill 2636, allows those with epilepsy to possess and consume cannabis, as well as purchase it from dispensaries, if they receive a recommendation from a physician.

Last year Illinois legalized medical cannabis, allowing the possession and state-licensed distribution of the medicine for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Senate Bill 2636 adds epilepsy to the list of qualifying conditions, and explicitly allows those under 18 with the condition to become a medical cannabis patient, though they would only be authorized to use cannabis extracts, and not the whole cannabis plant. Prior to the signing of this new law, an individual under 18 wasn’t allowed to become a qualified patient regardless of their condition.

Read moreIllinois Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Cannabis for Children and Adults with Epilepsy

Illinois Proposal to Legalize Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy, Including for Children, Passes House

A proposal to allow the use of medical cannabis for those with epilepsy – including minors – and would allow them to purchase their medicine at  dispensariesillinois2, was approved today by the Illinois House of Representatives with a 98 to 18 vote.

Last year Illinois legalized medical cannabis through a 4-year pilot program that allows the possession and state-licensed distribution of medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. If approved into law, this new proposal – Senate Bill 2636 – would add epilepsy to the list of qualifying conditions. It would explicitly allow for those under 18 with epilepsy to use medical cannabis extracts; currently in Illinois an individual must be 18 to use any form of medical cannabis regardless of their condition.

Read moreIllinois Proposal to Legalize Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy, Including for Children, Passes House

Illinois Senate Unanimously Votes to Establish Hemp Research Pilot Program

Illinois’s full Senate has voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 5085, a proposal to establish a hemp researchillinois pilot program. The measure has already been approved by the state’s House of Representatives, though it will go back for one final vote before heading to the governor given some amendments were approved (none that change the intent of the bill).

Under the proposed law, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and state higher education institutions would be authorized to cultivate hemp – defined as having 1% or less THC – for research purposes.

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Illinois House of Representatives Passes Measure to Legalize Hemp Research

Illinois’s House of Representatives have voted 70 to 28 in favor of House Bill 5085, a proposal to legalize hemp cultivation for research purposes.hempillinois

The measure has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee; if approved through this committee, and then by the full Senate, it will go to Governor Pat Quinn for consideration.

Under the proposed law, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and state colleges would be authorized to cultivate hemp – defined as having 1% or less THC – for research purposes.

Read moreIllinois House of Representatives Passes Measure to Legalize Hemp Research

Illinois House Committee Unanimously Approves Cannabis Decriminalization Measures

The Illinois House Restorative Justice Committee has given unanimous approval to two separate measures aimed at decriminalizing cannabis possessionillinois, one of which would also decriminalize cannabis cultivation and distribution.

House Bill 4299 would make the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis a simply $100 ticket, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor as it currently stands. In addition, the measure would remove criminal penalties – also making it an $100 ticket – for manufacturing or delivering up to 10 grams of cannabis, and for possessing up to 5 cannabis plants. It would also reduce the charge from a felony, to a misdemeanor, for the possession of between 5 and 20 plants, or between 30 to 500 grams.

Read moreIllinois House Committee Unanimously Approves Cannabis Decriminalization Measures

Illinois Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect January 1st

A measure to legalize medical cannabis which was approved this year by the Illinois Legislature (and signed by the governor) officially becomesillinois law tomorrow, January 1st.

Under the new law, the possession of up to 2 and a half ounces of cannabis will be legal for qualified patients who receive a license from the state. Once the law takes effect, the state will have 120 days to determine the rules and regulations for state-licensed dispensaries and cultivation centers; 60 dispensaries and 22 cultivation centers will be allowed throughout the state.

Read moreIllinois Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect January 1st