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IL Marijuana Laws

Illinois Medical Marijuana Law

“Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act” — HOUSE BILL 1 

AN ACT concerning alternative treatment for serious diseases causing chronic pain and debilitating conditions. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

Section 5. Findings.

(a) The recorded use of cannabis as a medicine goes back nearly 5,000 years. Modern medical research has confirmed the beneficial uses of cannabis in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999.

(b) Studies published since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report continue to show the therapeutic value of cannabis in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. These include relief of the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses that often fail to respond to conventional treatments and relief of nausea, vomiting, and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, increasing the chances of patients continuing on life-saving treatment regimens.

Cannabis has many currently accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to at least 600,000 patients in states with medical cannabis laws. The medical utility of cannabis is recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses, Association, the American Public Health Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and many others.
(d) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform
Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 cannabis arrests in the U.S. are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing State law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use cannabis.
(e) Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C. have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of cannabis. Illinois joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.
(f) States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law.

READ MORE — House Bill 1 [FULL TEXT]

 

Illinois Medical Marijuana Possession and Cultivation Law

A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this chapter, provided the marijuana possessed by the qualifying patient:

  • is not more than two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana.
  • if the qualifying patient has not designated a primary caregiver to cultivate marijuana for the qualifying patient, does not exceed six marijuana plants, which must be kept in an enclosed, locked facility unless the plants are being transported because the qualifying patient is moving or the plants are being transported to the qualifying patient’s property.

A primary caregiver other than a nonprofit dispensary who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom the primary caregiver is connected through the department’s registration process with the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this chapter, provided that the marijuana possessed by the primary caregiver:

  • is not more than two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana for each qualifying patient to whom the primary caregiver is connected through the department’s registration process.
  • for each qualifying patient who has designated the primary caregiver to cultivate marijuana for the qualifying patient, does not exceed six marijuana plants, which must be kept in an enclosed, locked facility unless the plants are being transported because the primary caregiver is moving. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots shall be allowed and shall not be included in the amounts specified in subsections 1 and 2.

There shall be a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana pursuant to this chapter if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver does both of the following:

  • Possesses a registry identification card.
  • Possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this chapter.

The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marijuana use or possession was not for the purpose of treating or alleviating the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, in accordance with this chapter.

A cardholder shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for giving an amount of marijuana the person is allowed to possess under subsection 1 or 2 to a cardholder for a registered qualifying patient’s medical use where nothing of value is transferred in return, or to offer to do the same.

A school, employer, or landlord shall not refuse to enroll, employ, or lease to, or otherwise penalize, a person solely on the basis of the person’s status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver, unless failing to do so would put the school, employer, or landlord in violation of federal law or cause the school, employer, or landlord to lose a federal contract or funding.

A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with this chapter, unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.
A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana, provided that the registered primary caregiver is connected to the registered qualifying patient through the department’s registration process. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances.

A physician shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by the board of medicine or by any other business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the physician’s professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, provided that nothing shall prevent a professional licensing board from sanctioning a physician for failing to properly evaluate a patient’s medical condition or otherwise violating the standard of care for evaluating medical conditions.

A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for providing a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver with marijuana paraphernalia for purposes of a qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana.

Any marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, licit property, or interest in licit property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marijuana, as allowed under this chapter, or property incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited.

A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, simply for being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marijuana as allowed under this chapter, or for assisting a registered qualifying patient with using or administering marijuana.

A registry identification card, or its equivalent, that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States that allows the medical use of marijuana by a visiting qualifying a patient, shall have the same force and effect as a registry identification card issued by the department for purposes of this chapter.

The department shall register and issue a registration certificate to a nonprofit dispensary within thirty days of receiving an application for registration of a nonprofit dispensary if the prospective nonprofit dispensary provided all of the following, in accordance with the department’s rules:

  • An application fee of five thousand dollars.
  • The legal name of the nonprofit dispensary.
  • The physical address of the nonprofit dispensary and the physical address of one additional location, if any, where marijuana will be cultivated.
  • The name, address, and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the nonprofit dispensary.
  • The name, address, and date of birth of any person who is an agent of or employed by the nonprofit dispensary.

The department shall track the number of registered qualifying patients who designate a nonprofit dispensary as a primary caregiver and issue to each nonprofit dispensary a written statement of the number of qualifying patients who have designated the nonprofit dispensary to cultivate marijuana for them. This statement shall be updated each time a registered qualifying patient newly designates the nonprofit dispensary or ceases to designate the nonprofit dispensary and may be transmitted electronically if the department’s rules so provide. The department may provide by rule that the updated written statements may not be issued more frequently than once each week.

Except as provided in subsection 4, the department shall issue each principal officer, board member, agent, or employee of a nonprofit dispensary a registry identification card within ten days of receipt of the person’s name, address, date of birth, and a fee in an amount established by the department.

Each registry identification card shall specify that the cardholder is a principal officer, board member, agent, or employee of a nonprofit dispensary and shall contain all of the following information:

  • The name, address, and date of birth of the principal officer, board member, agent, or employee.
  • The legal name of the nonprofit dispensary with which the principal officer, board member, agent, or employee is affiliated.
  • A random identification number that is unique to the cardholder.
  • The date of issuance and expiration date of the registry identification card.
  • A photograph, if the department requires inclusion of a photograph by rule.

The department shall not issue a registry identification card to any principal officer, board member, agent, or employee of a nonprofit dispensary who has been convicted of a felony drug offense. The department may conduct a background check of each principal officer, board member, agent, or employee in order to carry out this subsection. The department shall notify the nonprofit dispensary in writing of the reason for denying the registry identification card.

Illinois Marijuana Possession Penalties

  1. Possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 30 days.
  2. Possession of between 2.5 – 10 grams of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment.
  3. Possession of between 10 – 30 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, which is punishable by a jail term of up to 1 year. For a second or subsequent offense, possession of between 10 – 30 grams of marijuana is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year and a maximum sentence of 3 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  4. Possession of between 30 – 500 grams of marijuana is a Class 4 felony for a first offense, which is punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year and a maximum sentence of 3 years, as well as a fine of $25,000. For a second or subsequent offense, possession of between 30 – 500 grams of marijuana is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 5 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  5. Possession of between 500 – 2,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 5 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  6. Possession of between 2,000 – 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a minimum jail term of 3 years and a maximum sentence of 7 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  7. Possession of over 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 1 felony, punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 20 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.

Illinois Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties

  1. Possession of paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $750.
  2. Sale of paraphernalia is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year and a maximum sentence of 3 years, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.
  3. Sale of paraphernalia to a minor is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 5 years, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.
  4. Sale of paraphernalia to an obviously pregnant woman is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a minimum jail term of 3 years and a maximum sentence of 7 years, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

* All paraphernalia is subject to forfeiture.

Illinois Marijuana Cultivation Penalties

  1. Possessing 5 or less marijuana plants is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.
  2. Possessing between 5 – 20 plants is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year and a maximum sentence of 3 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  3. Possessing between 20 – 50 plants is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 5 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  4. Possessing between 50 – 200 plants is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by a minimum jail term of 3 years and a maximum sentence of 7 years, along with a maximum fine of $100,000
  5. Possessing more than 200 marijuana plants is a Class 1 felony, punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 20 years, as well as a maximum fine of $100,000.

Illinois Intent to Sell Marijuana Penalties

  1. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, 2.5 grams or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment.
  2. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, between 2.5 – 10 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.
  3. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, between 10 – 30 grams of marijuana is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year and a maximum sentence of 3 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
  4. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, between 30 – 500 grams of marijuana is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 5 years, and a maximum fine of $50,000.
  5. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, between 500 – 2,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a minimum jail term of 3 years and a maximum sentence of 7 years, and a maximum fine of $100,000.
  6. Selling or possessing with the intent to sell, between 2,000 – 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 1 felony, punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $150,000.
  7. Selling, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to sell, more than 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 6 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years, and a maximum fine of $200,000.

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April 17, 2013, House Bill 1 was approved, and signed into law by Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, on August 01, 2013 (effective January 01, 2014). The “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”, established a patient registry program, to protect the registered qualifying patients and their registered appointed caregivers, from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege”. Provisions for cultivation centers and dispensing organizations, are also included.

August 01, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn released a signing statement outlining the key points of the law, while stipulating it to be a four-year pilot program. And on April 18, 2014, the Department of Public Health released the revised preliminary rules.

Finally, on July 20, 2014, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 2636, amending the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act to allow children under the age of 18, to be treated with non-smokable forms of medical marijuana, for the same qualifying conditions as outlined for adults. Senate Bill 2636, also added seizures, including those related to epilepsy, to its list of qualifying medical ailments, effective January 01, 2015.

June 30, 2016, Senate Bill 10, effectively extended the Illinois pilot program, scheduled to end January 2018, to July 01, 2020 — in addition the bill also added two additional conditions to the state’s list of qualifying ailments.

Offense

Penalty

Incarceration

Max. Fine

   Possession

    2.5 g. or less

Misdemeanor

30 days

N/A

    2.5 g. – 10 g.

Misdemeanor

6 months

N/A

    10 g. – 30 g. (First offense)

Misdemeanor

1 year

N/A

   10 g. – 30 g. (Subsequent offense)

Felony

1* – 3 years

$25,000

    30 g. – 500 g. (First offense)

Felony

1* – 3 years

$25,000

   30 g. – 500 g. (Subsequent offense)

Felony

2* – 5 years

$25,000

   500 g. – 2000 g.

Felony

2* – 5 years

$25,000

   2000 g. – 5000 g.

Felony

3* – 7 years

$25,000

  More than 5000 g.

Felony

4* – 20 years

$25,000

   *Mandatory minimum sentence

   Sale or Trafficking

   2.5 g. or less

Misdemeanor

6 months

N/A

2.5 g. – 10 g.

Misdemeanor

1 year

N/A

10 g. – 30 g.

Felony

1* – 3 years

$25,000

30 g. – 500 g.

Felony

2* – 5 years

$50,000

500 g. – 2000 g.

Felony

3* – 7 years

$100,000

2000 g. – 5000 g.

Felony

4* – 20 years

$150,000

More than 5000 g.

Felony

6* – 30 years

$200,000

*Mandatory minimum sentence
Bringing 2500 grams or more of marijuana into the State of Illinois is trafficking and brings a mandatory minimum sentence of twice the minimum sentence as sale of marijuana.

Cultivation

Less than 5 plants

Misdemeanor

1 year

N/A

5 – 20 plants

Felony

1* – 3 years

$25,000

20 – 50 plants

Felony

2* – 5 years

$25,000

50 – 200 plants

Felony

3* – 7 years

$100,000

More than 200 plants

Felony

4* – 30 years

$100,000

* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of paraphernalia.

Misdemeanor

1 year

$750

Sale of paraphernalia

Felony

1* – 3 years

$1,000

Sale to a minor

Felony

2* – 5 years

$1,000

Sale to a pregnant woman

Felony

3* – 7 years

$1,000

*Mandatory minimum sentence

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