Illinois Became the Next State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
The Governor of Illinois approved the bill to legalize small amounts of marijuana meant for recreational use. By doing this, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize this form of marijuana. Moreover, it was the first state to incorporate the statewide marketplace for cannabis, designed by legislators.
This means that nearly 800,000 people who have a criminal record for possessing or buying 30 grams or less of marijuana will have their records expunged. It will happen thanks to the demands of lawmakers and interested groups. Furthermore, the preference will be toward smaller vendors, and they promise that 25% of marijuana tax revenue will go to improving less developed communities.
It is stated that Illinois residents will be allowed to buy and own up to an ounce (or 30 grams) at a time. And for all the non-residents the amount is halved. Everyone that is 21 years and older will be able to purchase it at approved dispensaries, and they will begin selling on January 1, 2020, after they are established and licensed.
Governor J.B. Pritzker said that, over the last 50 years, countless families had been destroyed and prisons filled with people who weren’t violent, especially minority communities. Furthermore, he stated that the country had spent millions of dollars trying to enforce the criminalization while the consumption of cannabis remained the same. Pritzker said that there were 15% blacks in Illinois and that they made 60% of all of the arrests related to cannabis.
Once everything is settled, it is expected that the state will get close to $1 billion in taxes thanks to marijuana market and that, during the first five years, $500 million could be earned due to taxation.