Illinois Marijuana Distribution Laws

What Is Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana in Illinois?

The Illinois General Assembly approved the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act in May 2019, which was later signed into law on June 25, 2019, by Governor J.B. Pritzker. This law legalized recreational marijuana in Illinois and specified the state’s legal possession limit for marijuana. According to Title 410, Section 705:1.7 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, possessing cannabis products in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act is acceptable. Cannabis possession is the act of intentionally carrying or having custody of marijuana products. As stipulated in Title 410, Section 705:10.10 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, state residents 21 years or older can legally possess up to:

  • 5 grams of marijuana concentrates
  • 30 grams of cannabis flower
  • 500 milligrams of cannabis-derived THC infused into products

Adults who are at least 21 years but are not residents of Illinois can legally carry up to:

  • 2.5 grams of marijuana concentrate
  • 15 grams of cannabis flower
  • 250 milligrams of marijuana-sourced THC infused into products

Medical marijuana patients participating in the Illinois medical cannabis program can legally have over 30 grams of marijuana plants with them, provided the plants were grown in their homes under specific conditions. Persons who knowingly carry more than the allowable amounts of marijuana products in Illinois could be charged for marijuana possession. The Illinois Cannabis Control Act, contained in Title 720, Section 550 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, outlines the penalties for unlawful marijuana possession in the state. The punishments for marijuana possession in Illinois depend on the quantities of marijuana products involved. Persons charged with simple marijuana possession in Illinois could face more severe penalties if evidence suggests that they intended to sell cannabis products or deliver them to others without remuneration. In such a case, an offender could be charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute. Like simple cannabis possession charges, the possible punishments for marijuana possession with intent to distribute in Illinois vary based on the amounts of marijuana products found with offenders.

Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18 in Illinois?

An 18-year-old cannot enter a marijuana dispensary in Illinois to buy cannabis products for recreational use. The provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act prohibit dispensing organizations from selling cannabis products to recreational users under 21 years. As stipulated in Title 410, Section 705:15.85 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, dispensary personnel must verify the ages of purchasers before selling cannabis products to them.

The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, contained in Title 410, Section 130 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, allows minors diagnosed with specific medical conditions to use cannabis medically. Patients under 18 years will need caregivers to purchase marijuana products from dispensaries for them. Registered patients 18 years or older can buy cannabis products from state-approved dispensaries. So, although 18-year-olds can enter cannabis dispensaries in Illinois, they can only purchase items if they have valid medical marijuana registry identification cards issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card in Illinois?

No. According to the provisions of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, persons buying marijuana products at medical marijuana dispensaries must show their medical marijuana registry identification cards. These cards prove that they were diagnosed with severe medical conditions that qualify them for medical marijuana use and that they are registered under the Illinois medical cannabis patient registry program. Caregivers who enter medical marijuana dispensaries must also present their medical marijuana caregiver registry identification cards. Furthermore, patients and caregivers in Illinois must provide valid government-issued photo identification when they enter dispensaries which must be verified by personnel before they can purchase marijuana supplies. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act states that persons buying cannabis products from dispensaries must show proof (valid identification cards) that they are up to 21 years.

What Are the Penalties for Possession With Intent To Distribute First Offense in Illinois?

Federal penalties for marijuana possession with intent to distribute offenses are more severe than the penalties imposed by Illinois law. Depending on the amount of marijuana an offender is charged for, they could face up to 40 years imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine. Furthermore, as stated in Title 21, Section 841 of the US Code, an offender for marijuana possession with intent to distribute could be imprisoned for life if serious bodily injury or death occurs from the use of cannabis products they distributed.

The penalties for marijuana possession with intent to distribute in Illinois are outlined in the Illinois Cannabis Control Act. According to Title 720, Section 550:5 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, a person charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute commits a:

  • Class B misdemeanor if they are transferring 2.5 grams or less of cannabis; they could face a six-month prison sentence
  • Class A misdemeanor if the amount of marijuana distributed exceeds 2.5 grams but is not more than 10 grams; the offender could face a one-year prison sentence
  • Class 4 felony if the quantity of marijuana transferred is over 10 grams but not over 30 grams; the punishment for this offense is between one year to three years imprisonment
  • Class 3 felony if the amount of marijuana distributed exceeds 30 grams but is not over 500 grams; they could face two years to five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000
  • Class 2 felony if the quantity of cannabis transferred is more than 500 grams but not over 2,000 grams; an offender risks three to seven years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000
  • Class 1 felony if the amount of cannabis distributed exceeds 2,000 grams but is not over 5,000 grams; they could face four to 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $150,000
  • Class X felony if they distribute over 5,000 grams of marijuana; they risk life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $200,000

Is It Legal To Sell Weed in Illinois?

Yes. Marijuana sale in Illinois refers to the deliberate exchange of cannabis products for goods or services. The provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act allow adults 21 years and older to legally buy marijuana products from licensed dispensaries in the state for recreational use. The Act also permits medical marijuana dispensing organizations to sell marijuana products to registered medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) participants. Only licensed dispensaries in Illinois can legally sell marijuana products.

How To Sell to Dispensaries in Illinois?

Because the cannabis industry is highly profitable, individuals and businesses often look for ways to partake of it legally. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act allows adult-use cannabis dispensing organizations in the state to legally purchase marijuana supplies from licensed cultivation centers, processing organizations, craft growers, or other dispensaries. The provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act prohibit dispensaries from getting cannabis supplies from sources other than licensed cannabis establishments. To legally cultivate marijuana plants for sale to dispensaries, Illinois residents need to obtain craft grower licenses or cultivation center licenses from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Persons interested in processing marijuana plants to obtain extracts for sale at dispensaries must get processor organization licenses, while those infusing cannabis extracts into products require infuser licenses. Dispensaries are required to use the services of licensed transporting organizations when moving marijuana products from one facility to another.

How To Get a Distribution License in Illinois

Legal marijuana distribution usually involves the cultivation, processing, storage, and delivery of cannabis products to dispensaries. Due to the possibility of tremendous economic benefits, various entities and individuals search for investment opportunities in cannabis distribution. However, the Illinois Department of Agriculture does not issue cannabis distribution licenses because there is no provision for such a license under the state’s Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Persons interested in cannabis distribution in Illinois must obtain licenses relevant to their activities of interest, such as growing, processing, product infusing, or transportation. To apply for cannabis grower, processor, infuser, or transporter licenses in Illinois, applicants need to visit the adult-use cannabis license application page on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. Afterward, applicants should download and complete the relevant forms for their licenses of interest, provide the required documents, pay the application fees, and submit their applications to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Illinois Marijuana Distribution Laws
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