Cannabis cultivation is legal in McHenry County. Since 2014, medical cannabis has been legal in Illinois through the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (410 ILS 130). Adult-use cannabis was legalized in the state on January 1, 2020, through The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705), with updates.
By state law 410 ILCS 705, patients registered in the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program who are aged 21 and older and have resided in Illinois for the past 30 days at the minimum are permitted to cultivate cannabis at home subject to the following regulations:
The patient must own the residence or gain permission from the owner of the residence to grow cannabis. The owner or landlord has the right to refuse.
The patient must reside in the residence.
Each residence can have only a maximum of five cannabis plants that are taller than five inches.
The cannabis plants must be grown and stored in a space that is enclosed, hidden from public view, and locked to prevent illegal access.
The patient is not allowed to sell or give away cannabis plants or cannabis products.
Violation of the Act will result in penalties, including loss of the privilege to grow cannabis at home.
For commercial cultivation of cannabis, a business must apply for a craft grower or cultivation center license with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Any person or business entity is limited to owning a maximum of three craft grower licenses or three cultivation center licenses. Craft grower licensees are not allowed to apply for a cultivation center license.
Craft growers are allowed to grow cannabis plants with a maximum canopy of 5,000 square feet when flowering. The Department of Agriculture can increase this up to 14,000 square feet if market requirements demand. Cultivation centers are allowed to grow cannabis plants with a maximum canopy of 210,000 square feet when flowering.
All cannabis cultivation must be done in an enclosed facility away from public sight and locked to secure against any unauthorized breach. Cultivation centers are required to have round-the-clock surveillance and a security system checked by the Illinois State Police.
Cannabis manufacturing is legal in McHenry County through 410 ILS 130 and 410 ILS 705. Holders of a cultivation center license are permitted to process marijuana, its concentrates, and marijuana-infused products. Otherwise, businesses must apply for an infuser license with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to manufacture cannabis-infused products.
All cannabis products in Illinois have the following packaging requirements:
Containers must be sealed, child-resistant, light-resistant, and compliant with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.
Products must be labeled and include the package content list, the amount of cannabis in the product, and the product’s “use by” date.
Product packaging must include readily visible and legible warnings that:
The product has cannabis and may be habit-forming
The product is intended only for persons aged 21 and older
The product must not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
The product can affect cognition and it is illegal to drive while under its influence
It is illegal to sell or give away the product to another person
It is illegal to take the product outside Illinois
Under federal law and in certain jurisdictions, possessing or using the product is illegal
Product packaging must not contain false or misleading information.
Product packaging must not be attractive to minors or resemble any other product marketed to minors.
Product packaging must not encourage excessive use of cannabis.
Product packaging must not include:
Any visual representation of the cannabis leaf
Any depiction of a person younger than 21 using cannabis
Any symbol that may mislead consumers into thinking that the State of Illinois is endorsing the product
Cannabis retail is legal in McHenry County by virtue of 410 ILS 130 and 410 ILS 705. To be awarded an adult-use dispensing organization license by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, a business entity must have first been awarded a conditional adult-use dispensing organization license. Any person or business entity is limited to owning a maximum of 10 dispensing organization licenses.
Licensed dispensaries are permitted to sell cannabis and all types of cannabis products, including oil, tinctures, ointments, and edibles, as well as cannabis paraphernalia, to adults aged 21 and above, patients who hold medical cannabis registration cards, and patients’ caregivers. Proof of age or the medical cannabis registration card must be shown before purchasing at the dispensary. All cannabis products to be sold must be properly labeled.
Each registered patient is allowed to purchase a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 14 days. The patient’s healthcare provider can submit a waiver online to increase the amount to alleviate the patient’s condition, subject to the approval of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Patients and adults aged 21 and older are not allowed to purchase cannabis that will cause them to possess more than the allowed limits. For residents of Illinois, that means 30 grams of the cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in any cannabis product. Registered patients can possess more than 30 grams of cannabis grown at home.
For non-residents of Illinois who are in the state, the limit for possession includes 15 grams the cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 250 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in any cannabis product.
Cannabis delivery is legal in McHenry County only by holders of a transporter license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. License holders are only allowed to transport cannabis from and to licensed craft growers, cultivation centers, infusers, testing facilities, and dispensing organizations. The cannabis must be in sealed containers and all deliveries must be logged into the data collection system.
It is currently illegal to deliver cannabis even to registered patients who hold medical marijuana cards and persons aged 21 and older. This can only be allowed if Senate Bill 2404 is approved.
Residents of McHenry County can only apply for a medical marijuana card online at the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program page since paper documents are not accepted. The applicant must:
Be a resident of Illinois while applying and while in the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program
Be certified by a qualified healthcare practitioner to have one of the debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the program
The qualifying medical conditions are:
● Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
● Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
● Anorexia nervosa
● Arnold-Chiari malformation
● Cachexia/wasting syndrome
● Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
● Chronic pain
● Crohn’s disease
● CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
● Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
● Fibrous Dysplasia
● Hepatitis C
● Interstitial cystitis
● Multiple Sclerosis
● Irritable bowel syndrome
● Muscular Dystrophy
● Myasthenia Gravis
● Nail-patella syndrome
● Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
● Post-Concussion Syndrome
● Traumatic brain injury
● Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
● Residual limb pain
● Parkinson’s disease
● Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
● Tourette syndrome
● Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
● Severe fibromyalgia
● Rheumatoid arthritis
● Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
● Spinal cord injury
● Spinal cord disease
● Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
● Spinocerebellar ataxia
● Sjogren’s syndrome
● Ulcerative colitis
● Tarlov cysts
● Terminal illness
The qualified healthcare practitioners in addition to physicians are physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), advance practice nurses (APN), and nurses who hold Advance Practice Registered Nurse-Full Practice Authority (APRN-FPA). The healthcare practitioner must submit the certification online.
The Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program page contains links for the registration of patients who do not require a caregiver, patients who require a caregiver, terminal patients, patients who are minors, terminal patients who are minors, and caregivers. Patients are allowed up to three caregivers each. The page also includes a link for registration in the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP).
To qualify for the OAPP, a patient must be an Illinois resident aged 21 or older who is certified by a licensed physician to have a medical condition that needs an opioid prescription. To avoid the more dangerous opioids, patients are registered in the medical cannabis program.
Patients and caregivers may print out their medical marijuana cards from their online accounts once the application is approved. They may also display their card digitally on their mobile phones and supplement this with a valid physical ID card.
Patients and caregivers must file for renewal before the expiration date of their ID card. An expired card can no longer be renewed. Once a card expires, a new application process must be begun.
Assistance is provided through the following:
Medical Cannabis Patient Program:
1-855-636-3688 (9 AM - 4 PM Monday to Friday)
Opioid Alternative Pilot Program:
Pursuant to 410 ILS 130, the following taxes are imposed on cannabis sales:
A cultivation privilege tax of 7% of gross receipts of craft growers and cultivation centers
A purchaser excise tax of 25% of the price of cannabis with more than 35% THC
A purchaser excise tax of 20% of the price of all cannabis-infused goods
A purchaser excise tax of 10% of the price of cannabis with 35% THC or less
A Municipal Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax at a maximum of 3% of gross sales that municipalities can opt to impose on cannabis retail businesses
A County Retailers’ Occupation Tax that counties can opt to impose on cannabis retail businesses at a maximum of 3.75% of gross sales in unincorporated areas. 3% of gross sales in any municipality in a home-rule county, or 0.75% of gross sales in any municipality in a non-home-rule county.
The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported in February 2022 that in 2021, cannabis sales in the state went over $1 billion, exceeding the tax revenue from alcohol sales.
For the fiscal year 2022, the Illinois Department of Revenue states that revenue could reach $253.5 million, increasing to $323.5 million in 2023 and $375.5 million in 2024.
Medical cannabis was legalized in Illinois in 2014 and adult-use cannabis in 2020. According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer page, in the entire state in 2013 there were 34,982 arrests for drug abuse violations, of which 309 were for marijuana possession and 45 were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. While the number of arrests for drug abuse violations decreased to 4,101 in 2021, the arrests for marijuana possession increased to 1,159 205, and arrests for marijuana manufacturing and sales increased to 205. DUI arrests statewide increased from 3,861 in 2013 to 4,388 in 2021.
According to the Illinois State Police annual crime report 2013, there were 694 drug crime arrests per 100,000 population for that year in McHenry County. In the Illinois State Police annual crime report 2020, that figure decreased to 202 drug crime arrests per 100,000 population in McHenry County.