Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by Jan. 1, 2020, and the General Assembly will consider such legislation May 7. If successful, Illinois would be among the largest states to legalize recreational use. The bill would allow adults 21 and over to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries, as well as grow as many of five plants at home. It also contains language to automatically expunge previous criminal convictions for marijuana use. Employers would be able to continue to have workplace drug policies and maintain “reasonable policies” for testing, smoking, consumption, storage or use of cannabis in the workplace. Licenses for recreational marijuana could be given to companies that currently hold medical marijuana licenses within 45 days of the law’s passage, but new licenses will be awarded in 2020 and 2021. Retail sales of marijuana would be taxed by the state at 10% to 25%, depending on the concentration of THC, while growers and processors would be responsible for a 7% tax on gross sales. Cities could charge an additional 3% retail sales tax, and counties could collect another 0.5%.
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