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Frequently Asked Questions

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 General

Can I give cannabis as a gift?

Yes, as long as the person you are giving it to is age 21+ and you do not receive any form of payment in exchange.

What can I expect on January 1st?

  • Just like every other state where cannabis has been legalized, there will be lines.
  • When doors open January 1, this will just be the beginning of an industry that will serve people across the state.

What is a normal dose of cannabis?

A single dose is considered 10mg of THC. However, everyone reacts differently, so start withless than 10mg if you do not use cannabis regularly.

What is the legal age for cannabis consumption in Illinois?

Like alcohol, you can legally use adult use cannabis when you turn 21.

Where can people use cannabis?

There is no public consumption allowed for cannabis. Smoking or consuming weed is illegal in motor vehicles and public spaces, including your front porch.

 Health and Public Safety

Are there added risks for regular cannabis use?

Routine marijuana users are significantly more likely than nonusers to develop long-lasting mental disorders, including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Can I use cannabis while driving?

No. It is neither legal nor safe to use cannabis while operating any motorized vehicle (this includes boats and motorcycles). Doing so can result in a DUI. Law enforcement has the right to pull over anyone and request a field sobriety test.

How can I tell if my child is using cannabis?

Look for dramatic shifts in behavior and physical appearance such as:

  • Red eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Acting secretive
  • Acting silly with excessive giggling
  • Shifts in their relationships - either spending more time alone or with different friends
  • Loss of interest in sports or other favorite activities
  • Skipping school
  • Changes in grades and sleeping habits
  • Short-term memory loss

How do I store my cannabis to keep my children and pets safe?

Keep all marijuana products in their original child-resistant packaging and designate a hidden and locked location where your children and pets cannot reach them.

  • If you think a child has ingested cannabis, call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222
  • Dial 911 if you believe a child needs immediate medical help

How does cannabis affect young adults?

Using cannabis regularly in your teens and early 20s may lead to physical changes in your brain that can permanently harm your memory, learning, and attention. This can seriously affect your ability to reach future goals.

How will law enforcement test for impairment?

Law enforcement are trained to evaluate impairment for alcohol and all other substances.

Is cannabis dangerous to my pets?

Pet owners should treat cannabis, including cannabis-containing edibles, like prescription medications and keep them out of the reach of pets. Dogs are especially attracted to edibles that contain chocolate, and chocolate can be very dangerous to them. If you suspect your pet has ingested a cannabis-containing product, please contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on treatment.

Is it ok to use cannabis if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

No. Research shows that if you use cannabis while you are pregnant or breastfeeding the growth and development of your baby’s brain can be harmed. If you use while pregnant your baby is also more likely to be born with a low birth weight and have health problems.

Is it possible to overdose on cannabis?

Yes, while a fatal overdose is unlikely, it may lead to poisoning, injuries, and accidents. That’s because consuming high concentrations of THC can affect your judgment, perception, and coordination.

Is it safe to buy from a dealer instead of a dispensary?

No. Dealers are not regulated, meaning you have no way of knowing what you’re actually buying.

Is it true that cannabis is stronger now than it used to be?

Yes. The way cannabis plants are grown has changed over the past few decades. Many plants now contain higher amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis. The higher the THC content, the stronger the effects on your brain and behavior.

What are the risks of using cannabis?

Cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxins and chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana can lead to an increased risk of bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production. Inhaling this smoke, even secondhand, can increase your risk of developing lung problems.

What should I do if my child is using cannabis?

  • Stay calm - overreacting may lead your child to rebel, feel resentment, or take greater risks
  • Talk about your concerns and give positive reasons for wanting your child to stop using cannabis
  • Keep the conversation open for problem-solving
  • Remind your child of the ground rules you set earlier or set new ground rules and consequences
  • If needed, seek help from other adults and resources in your community
  • Call 911 and get help if there is a medical or mental health emergency

 Social Equity

How is the state ensuring that communities who have been impacted by the war on drugs benefit from legalization?

  • Illinois is the only state in the nation to design the distribution of cannabis licenses over time to promote equity.
  • We created a $30 million low-interest loan program funded by current license holders.
  • We established a 'social equity applicant' status for licensing that provides qualified applicants with 20% of the total points available in the application.
  • We are providing a 50 percent fee waiver for qualified social equity applicants.
  • We are reducing up-front costs by providing applicants who receive a conditional dispensing organization license up to 180 days to identify a physical location for the retail storefront.
  • We established limitations on ownership to preserve access to the market for social equity applicants.

Where is revenue from cannabis going?

  • 35% will be transferred to the General Revenue Fund,
  • 25% will be transferred to the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund to support the R3 program,
  • 20% will be transferred to the Department of Human Services Community Services Fund to address substance abuse and prevention and mental health concerns,
  • 10% will be transferred to the Budget Stabilization Fund to pay the backlog of unpaid bills,
  • 8% will be transferred to the Local Government Distributive Fund to support crime prevention programs, training, and interdiction efforts, including detection, enforcement, and prevention efforts, relating to the illegal cannabis market and driving under the influence of cannabis, and
  • 2% will be transferred to the Drug Treatment Fund to fund public education campaign and to support data collection and analysis of the public health impacts of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.
  • The Department of Revenue projects that this industry will generate over $57 million in tax revenue and licensing fees in FY20.

 Purchasing

Can I give cannabis as a gift?

Yes, as long as the person you are giving it to is age 21+ and you do not receive any form of payment in exchange.

Can I have cannabis delivered?

​No, you can only purchase cannabis at a licensed dispensary.

Can I leave Illinois with cannabis?

No. By federal law, it is illegal to travel outside of state lines by any method of transportation (car, bus, bike, boat, foot, etc) with any amount of cannabis. All cannabis bought in Illinois must be stored and consumed in Illinois.

Can people from other states buy cannabis in Illinois and take it home?

No. That is against federal law. Visitors over the age of 21 may consume cannabis while in Illinois under certain conditions. They can possess:

  • 15 grams of cannabis flower
  • 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate (oils, dab, or kief)
  • 250 milligrams of THC within cannabis-infused products (including edibles or tinctures)

How much cannabis can one person have?

Illinois residents over the age of 21 can possess (cumulative):

  • 30 grams (about an ounce) of cannabis flower
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate (oils, dab, or kief)
  • 500 milligrams of THC within cannabis-infused products (including edibles or tinctures)

Is it safe to buy from a dealer instead of a dispensary?

No. Dealers are not regulated, meaning you have no way of knowing what you’re actually buying.

What is a normal dose of cannabis?

A single dose is considered 10mg of THC. However, everyone reacts differently, so start withless than 10mg if you do not use cannabis regularly.

What is the legal age for cannabis consumption in Illinois?

Like alcohol, you can legally use adult use cannabis when you turn 21.

What is the process for purchasing cannabis from a dispensary?

​Like with alcohol, adults aged 21 and up will be expected to provide proof of identification, e.g. – a government issued i.d.

Where can you buy cannabis?

Cannabis can only be purchased from authorized dispensaries. People cannot legally sell any amount of marijuana to anyone.

Who can grow cannabis?

Only medicinal marijuana card holders can grow cannabis, with a 5-plant limit. Non-medical users may not grow any amount of marijuana, under any circumstances.

Will it be legal to order cannabis online if both the dispensary and recipient are in Illinois?

​Buying weed online or through the mail will still be illegal in Illinois, whether that’s within the state or across state boundaries.

 Tourists

Can I leave Illinois with cannabis?

No. By federal law, it is illegal to travel outside of state lines by any method of transportation (car, bus, bike, boat, foot, etc) with any amount of cannabis. All cannabis bought in Illinois must be stored and consumed in Illinois.

Can people from other states buy cannabis in Illinois and take it home?

No. That is against federal law. Visitors over the age of 21 may consume cannabis while in Illinois under certain conditions. They can possess:

  • 15 grams of cannabis flower
  • 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate (oils, dab, or kief)
  • 250 milligrams of THC within cannabis-infused products (including edibles or tinctures)

 On the Job

Can my employer fire me for using cannabis? Can they drug test me during the application process?

​Yes. The law allows employers to enact zero tolerance policies. Please refer to your employee handbook for further information.

How can I get a job in the industry?

​Contact a cultivation center or dispensing organization that’s licensed by the state to learn about available employment opportunities.

How can I start a business in the industry?

​Applications for a license to open a dispensary are currently available on the IDFPR website.

When can I apply for a license to open a dispensary?

​Applications are now available. They can be submitted to IDFPR between December 10th and January 2, 2020.

 Housing

Can my landlord prohibit me from using cannabis?

Yes. If you are on their property, you must follow their rules about cannabis use. Review your lease agreement for clarification before using.