Cultivating cannabis in Champaign County is legal for both medical and recreational purposes. The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (410 ILS 130) of 2014 legalized medical cannabis in the state. Subsequently, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) of 2020 and its updates legalized adult-use cannabis for individuals aged 21 and above.
Personal home cultivation of medical cannabis is allowed for patients who are in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program, provided they are aged 21 or older and they abide by the following rules:
For the previous 30 days, they must have lived in the State of Illinois.
They must cultivate medical cannabis only on the premises of their current residence.
They must be the owner of the residence, or have the owner’s permission to grow medical cannabis there.
The maximum number of medical cannabis plants they can possess that are more than five inches in height is five.
In addition to the plants, the maximum quantity of medical cannabis they are allowed to possess at home is 30 grams.
The plants and any forms of medical cannabis must not be seen from outside the residence.
The plants and any forms of medical cannabis must be secured in a locked space to prevent theft and access by unauthorized individuals.
Homegrown medical cannabis plants and any forms of medical cannabis derived from them cannot be sold or given away.
Patients who defy the rules will be penalized and their privilege to cultivate medical cannabis at home will be revoked.
To cultivate medical or adult-use cannabis commercially, a company must apply for a craft grower license or a cultivation center license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. They can only apply for one or the other. Whichever type of license they choose, they are allowed to have up to three facilities.
The maximum canopy of flowering cannabis plants allowed under the craft grower license is 5,000 square feet. If market demand increases, the Department of Agriculture may expand this to 14,000 square feet. Meanwhile, the maximum canopy of flowering cannabis plants allowed under the cultivation center license is 210,000 square feet.
Licensed craft growers and cultivation centers are required to grow cannabis only indoors, with the building fully enclosed and the cannabis hidden from the public’s view. The entire premises must be tightly secured and locked, with unauthorized persons barred from entry. A security system approved by the Illinois State Police and works around the clock must be in place.
The Champaign County Zoning Ordinance allows licensed cannabis cultivation centers and licensed cannabis craft growers only in the following zoning districts and only by special permit of the county board:
CR Conservation Recreation
B-1 Rural Trade Center
B-2 Neighborhood Business
B-3 Highway Business
B-4 General Business
B-5 Central Business
I-1 Light Industry
I-2 Heavy Industry
Manufacturing cannabis in Champaign County is legal for both medical and adult-use cannabis products as stipulated by 410 ILS 130 and 410 ILS 705. To do so, a company must apply for a cannabis infuser license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Cannabis manufacturing is also allowed for cannabis cultivation center licensees.
Holders of the cannabis infuser license must abide by these guidelines on packaging:
Every cannabis package must follow the standards of the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act and must be sealed, light-resistant, tamper-proof, and child-safe.
Every cannabis item must be labeled accurately with a list of all its ingredients, the product quantity, and the product’s expiration date.
Every cannabis item’s label must display legibly these warnings:
The item includes cannabis, which is potentially habit-forming.
Only adults aged 21 or older are permitted to use cannabis.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women must not use cannabis.
Cognitive function can be impaired with the use of cannabis.
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal.
Selling cannabis in any form without a license is illegal.
Giving away cannabis in any form is illegal.
Taking cannabis in any form out of the State of Illinois is illegal.
In certain jurisdictions, the possession and use of cannabis in any form are illegal.
Under federal law, the possession and use of cannabis are illegal.
There must be no false or misleading information on cannabis packages.
Any cannabis package must not look attractive to children.
Any cannabis package must not resemble other items usually sold for minors.
There must be nothing on the cannabis package that encourages excessive use of cannabis.
The cannabis leaf image is prohibited on any cannabis package.
There must be no portrayal of a minor using cannabis on any cannabis package.
There must be no symbols on any cannabis package that could misrepresent it to the public as being endorsed by the state.
The Champaign County Zoning Ordinance allows cannabis infuser license holders to establish their facilities only in the I-2 Heavy Industry district.
Selling both medical and adult-use cannabis by retail in Champaign County is legal by virtue of 410 ILS 130 and 410 ILS 705. A company that wishes to do so must apply for a conditional adult-use cannabis dispensing organization license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation before applying for an adult-use cannabis dispensing organization license.
Statewide, the holder of an adult-use cannabis dispensing organization license is allowed to establish up to 10 dispensaries. The Champaign County Zoning Ordinance allows licensed cannabis dispensing organizations only in the B-4 General Business district.
Licensed dispensaries are authorized to sell all forms of cannabis for medical, and adult use, provided these are properly packaged and labeled. These include cannabis flowers and leaves, oil, concentrate, topical preparations, and edible products, among others. They can only sell these to medical marijuana cardholders and individuals aged 21 and above who can show a valid government-issued ID card that includes their date of birth.
Medical marijuana cardholders are allowed to buy from any licensed cannabis dispensing organization up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for each 14-day period. If a patient’s condition warrants more, the patient’s healthcare provider must post a waiver saying so on the online registry. This then needs approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Individuals who are aged 21 and older, and residents of Illinois, are allowed to purchase from any licensed cannabis dispensing organization a daily cap of cannabis products containing 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), five grams of cannabis concentrate, and 30 grams of cannabis flowers. That is also the possession limit for adults who are residents of the state.
Adults aged 21 and older who are not residents of Illinois are allowed to purchase from any licensed cannabis dispensing organization a daily limit totaling cannabis products with 250 milligrams of THC, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 15 grams of cannabis flowers. That is the possession limit for non-state residents who are of age.
Delivering medical or adult-use cannabis to medical marijuana cardholders or adults aged 21 and above in Champaign County is not legal as mandated by 410 ILS 130 and 410 ILS 705. Senate Bill 2404 proposed its legalization. However, the Illinois Senate adjourned in January 2023 without approving it.
The only allowed transportation of cannabis in the state is among licensed craft growers, cultivation centers, infusers, testing facilities, and dispensing organizations. Only holders of the cannabis transporter license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture are authorized to do so. Any cannabis items to be transported must be in sealed packaging. All deliveries are to be logged into the state’s cannabis data system.
The Champaign County Zoning Ordinance only allows licensed cannabis transporters in the following districts:
B-3 Highway Business
I-1 Light Industry
I-2 Heavy Industry
AG-2 Agriculture, by special permit only
A medical marijuana card can only be applied for online in Champaign County because paper documents are not accepted by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program. The applicant must show proof of Illinois residency and must remain in the state for the duration of participation in the program.
The applicant must undergo a medical examination by a qualified healthcare practitioner, who can be any of the following:
State-licensed Medical Doctor
State-licensed Physician Assistant (PA)
State-licensed Advance Practice Registered Nurse-Full Practice Authority (APRN-FPA)
State-licensed Advance Practice Nurse (APN)
State-licensed Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
Irritable bowel syndrome
Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
Traumatic brain injury
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Residual limb pain
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
Spinal cord disease
Spinal cord injury
Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
On the website of the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program, applicants will find the appropriate instructions for the type of application they must submit. They may choose from:
A patient who needs a caregiver may designate up to three of them.
The State of Illinois also allows its residents who are aged 21 and above and certified by a state-licensed physician to be afflicted with an illness that necessitates the prescription of opioids to be accepted into the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) as well as the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program. The rationale is that cannabis is deemed a safer treatment compared to opioids.
Once the application to the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program is approved, the electronic medical marijuana card appears on the patient’s or caregiver’s online registry account to be printed. If the patient or caregiver opts to show the digital card through a smartphone at a dispensary, they must also show a physical government-issued ID card with their photo on it.
Further information may be acquired by contacting the following:
Medical Cannabis Patient Program:
1-855-636-3688 (9 AM - 4 PM Monday to Friday)
Opioid Alternative Pilot Program:
According to data from the Illinois Municipal League (IML), Champaign County levies a 3.75% county cannabis tax and a 3% local municipality cannabis tax. This is in line with 410 ILS 130, which states that a county can impose a cannabis occupation tax of up to 3.75% of cannabis retail businesses’ gross sales in unincorporated areas. In a home-rule county, municipalities can impose a cannabis occupation tax of up to 3% of cannabis retail businesses’ gross sales. In a non-home-rule county, the municipalities’ cannabis occupation tax can only be up to 0.75% of cannabis retail businesses’ gross sales.
The State of Illinois also charges the following cannabis taxes:
Cultivation centers and craft growers must pay 7% of their gross sales as a cultivation privilege tax.
All cannabis businesses must pay 25% of the purchase price of all sold cannabis with more than 35% THC content as a purchaser excise tax.
All cannabis businesses must pay 10% of the purchase price of all sold cannabis with 35% or less THC content as a purchaser excise tax.
All cannabis businesses must pay 20% of the purchase price of all sold cannabis-infused products as a purchaser excise tax.
In 2021, according to the February 2022 report of the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, cannabis sales across the state totaled more than $1 billion and earned tax revenues higher than those from the sale of alcohol. The Illinois Department of Revenue forecasted that tax revenues from cannabis would be $253.5 million for the fiscal year (FY) 2022, $323.5 million for FY 2023, and $375.5 million for FY 2024.
In 2014, medical cannabis was legalized in Champaign County, while in 2020, recreational cannabis was legalized for individuals 21 years old and older.
The Illinois State Police annual crime report 2013 shows that in that year, Champaign County had 659 arrests related to drug crimes per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the Illinois State Police annual crime report 2020 shows that in 2019, this decreased to 309 drug crime arrests per 100,000 people.
There is no data earlier than 2021 from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page that could be a baseline. In 2021, there were 17 arrests related to marijuana offenses, of which five were for marijuana possession, and 12 were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. There were 58 DUI arrests that year.