Illinois Legislators Introduce Recreational Marijuana Bills

Illinois Legislators Introduce Recreational Marijuana Bills

Two Illinois legislators have introduced bills to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, according to a March 23, 2017, article in the Chicago Tribune.

However, state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Democrats from the north side of Chicago, said they will not put the bills up for a vote this year. Rather, they will hold hearings on the bills with an eye toward a vote next year, the Tribune reported.

“Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer,” Cassidy said.

The bills set a $50 per ounce tax on wholesale marijuana in addition to the Illinois 6.25 percent sales tax. The bills would allow adults, 21 years of age or older, to possess and buy up to 28 grams of marijuana and to grow up to five plants.

Illinois’s recreational sales could be worth $350 million to $700 million in sales annually, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which based its figures on Colorado’s recreational marijuana sales.

Illinois’ medical marijuana sales had exceeded $20 million between their start in November 2015 and a report in October 2016.

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