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Illinois recreational pot bill moves toward governor’s approval

Illinois marijuana

The Illinois governor’s office is working on getting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature on a bill that would make Illinois the first U.S. state to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult recreational use by legislation.

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, Illinois House Bill 1438, was passed by both the state House of Representatives and the Senate on May 31, and is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, once the governor has signed it. The governor’s office is now “working on a schedule” for this, a spokesman for the office said in an email to Business Insurance.

Illinois would be the first U.S. state legislature to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult recreational use as opposed to voter initiatives used in states, including Colorado, Washington State and California.

“The Illinois Legislature becoming the first to legalize cannabis through the state legislature is a watershed moment in the struggle to end the disastrous 80-year experiment with marijuana prohibition,” Kris Krane, co-founder and president of 4Front, a national cannabis company, told Business Insurance in an email.

In addition to legalizing and regulating the production, consumption and sale of cannabis, the bill would also expand the current medical cannabis licensing system, include automatic expungement for cannabis offenses and add the ability for medical patients to grow cannabis at home, according to information from the marijuana Policy Project.

The action in Illinois “will set the stage for other state legislatures around the country to follow suit,” Mr. Krane said.


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