Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pritzker signs 'most equity-centric' marijuana legalization bill in nation
by Jerry Nowicki, Capitol New Illinois
2019-06-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


SPRINGFIELD—Recreational marijuana use and possession will be legal in Illinois beginning Jan. 1, 2020, after Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25 in Chicago signed a bill supporters said is the "most equity-centric" legalization effort in the nation.

"This legislation lives true to the promise to bring justice, equity and opportunity throughout our state," Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said. "By including components focused on repairing the harm caused by the failed war on drugs and decades of policies that caused mass incarceration — Illinois is a national leader with policy that's a national model."

The legalization effort made Illinois the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana but the first to pass a comprehensive legalization package through the legislature rather than a ballot initiative.

"As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies the best of democracy: a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people," Pritzker said during a signing ceremony at the Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center. "Legalizing adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it's the right thing to do."

Beginning Jan. 1, the law will allow for the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana per Illinois resident over 21. Residents will also be able to possess up to five grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol—or THC—contained in a cannabis-infused product. Non-residents can possess half those amounts.

Registered medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants in their home and possess more than 30 grams of marijuana if it is grown and secured in their residence.

The new law also includes expungement measures for those with low-level marijuana arrests and convictions. Roughly 700,000 records are eligible for expungement under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, Pritzker said.

"One of the things that we wanted to make sure we accomplished with legalization was ensuring we put social equity at the center and the heart of our efforts, acknowledging that while we normalize and legalize something that is happening across the country, that we tie the direct nexus to the communities that the prohibition has hurt the most," said state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields.

Pritzker said those with arrests for less than 30 grams will have their records cleared through local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police, and those with convictions up to that amount will have their records referred to the Prisoner Review Board, which will make an expungement recommendation to the governor.

Those convicted of possessing between 30 and 500 grams could petition the courts for expungement through a more complex "motion to vacate" process.

Marijuana offenses connected to violent crime are ineligible for the automatic expungement processes, but the individual or state's attorney can still file a motion with the court to vacate conviction.

"This legislation recognizes that to move forward and create a new cannabis industry, we have to mend the historic inequalities that have torn communities apart," said Esther Franco-Payne, executive director of Cabrini Green Legal Aid. "Expunging the records of hundreds of thousands of people and making social equity at the center of this bill will change lives and revitalize communities."

The measure directs 25 percent of legalization revenues to a newly-established Restore, Reinvest and Renew grant program to "help communities most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs," Pritzker said.

The bill also creates a $30 million low-interest loan program to defray the start-up costs associated with entering the licensed cannabis industry and establishes a "social equity applicant" status for licensing aimed at generating more minority participation in the legalized industry.

The new law also establishes a DUI Cannabis Task Force; regulates advertising, packaging and location of cannabis businesses near public spaces, including schools and parks; and allows local governments to regulate the location of a cannabis business and home grow.

Legalization will generate revenue through a 7 percent tax on the gross receipts from the sale of marijuana by a cultivator and an excise tax on the purchaser. Marijuana with a THC level at or below 35 percent would pay a 10 percent tax; while products over that amount of THC would be taxed at 25 percent. A 20 percent tax would apply to marijuana-infused products.

The tax does not apply for marijuana purchased by licensed medicinal patients.

The Illinois Department of Revenue projects that this industry will generate more than $57 million in tax revenue and licensing fees in fiscal year 2020. In tax revenue alone, legalization is expected to generate $140.5 million in fiscal year 2021; $253.5 million in FY22; $323.5 million in FY23; and $375.5 million in FY24.

Legalization is expected to generate as much as $500 million each year when the industry is fully mature. For the first year, most of the revenue is expected to come from licensing fees for marijuana cultivators, processors, transporters and sellers.

After regulatory expenses are accounted for, the bill dedicates 35 percent of legalization revenues to the general revenue fund; 20 percent to address substance abuse, prevention and mental health concerns; 10 percent to pay down the bill backlog; 8 percent to local governments to support crime prevention programs and interdiction efforts relating to the illegal cannabis market and driving under the influence of cannabis; and 2 percent for a public education campaign and analysis of the public health impacts of legalization.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Phase 3 guidelines for reopening of businesses/workplaces are unveiled 2020-05-24 - Governor JB Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines that allow for the safe reopening of businesses as the state progresses into the next phase of ...


Gay News

Chicago House forum looks at coronavirus, HIV overlaps 2020-05-23 - Illinois state Reps. Lamont Robinson and Greg Harris joined local advocates for an online discussion about the intersection between coronavirus pandemic and the ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Lightfoot: Chicago on track to open in early June 2020-05-23 - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ), announced May 22 that Chicago is on track to ...


Gay News

Buffalo Grove residents all-in on Pride displays after complaint 2020-05-22 - A family whose activism was crucial to bringing a Pride parade to suburban Buffalo Grove were admonished by an anonymous neighbor who inferred ...


Gay News

U.S. Supreme Court backs Idaho trans woman's reassignment surgery 2020-05-22 - The United States Supreme Court denied Idaho's application to stop a transgender inmate's reassignment surgery, East Idaho News reported. The court order ...


Gay News

Affinity to mark 25th anniversary virtually 2020-05-21 - Co-chairs and the Affinity Community Services board of directors recently announced that Affinity's 25th-anniversary event will be a virtual experience taking place the ...


Gay News

Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21 - In response to the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced that the upcoming engagement of Disney's Frozen—originally scheduled to run ...


Gay News

Chicago Pride Fest going virtual 2020-05-21 - Chicago Pride Fest will mark its 20th year with a virtual festival format. On June 20-21, the Northalsted Business Alliance will bring Boystown ...


Gay News

Report shows impact of pandemic on LGBTQ communities of color 2020-05-21 - The Human Rights Campaign ( hRC ) Foundation—the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign—released new data outlining the economic impact of COVID-19 ...


Gay News

Trevor Project releases report on mental health of trans, non-binary youth 2020-05-21 - The Trevor Project's research team has published a new peer-reviewed article titled "Understanding the Mental Health of Transgender and Nonbinary Youth" in the ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.