Marijuana became legal in Virginia on July 1. Happy Tree Agricultural Supply has seen its business double month to month since Virginia lawmakers voted to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Recreational cannabis use was legalised in Illinois in 2019; the 11th state to lift the ban. It will be legal to use and sell the plant from 2020. Read on. Last month marked the start of the typical marijuana grow season, which runs March through November, which meant individuals and large cannabis firms in — April 21, 2019
What you can and can’t do now that marijuana is legal in Virginia
Under Virginia’s marijuana legalization laws, home cultivation of four plants is permitted, if the plants are labeled, out of public view, and away from children.
RICHMOND, Va. — Marijuana became legal in Virginia on July 1. Happy Tree Agricultural Supply has seen its business double month to month since Virginia lawmakers voted to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
The Scott’s Addition shop sells CBD, hemp, and home grow products, but Happy Trees and stores like it will not be allowed to sell marijuana seeds, per state law.
Under Virginia’s marijuana legalization laws, home cultivation of four plants is permitted, if the plants are labeled, out of public view, and away from children.
However, the selling of marijuana seeds will still be illegal, as will transporting them across state lines.
Virginians 21-years or older will be allowed to gift less than an ounce of marijuana to another person in private. The advocacy group Virginia Normal has a FAQ for those seeking clarification on the new laws.
For Happy Trees, the new law has brought in a boom of new customers who all have questions.
“Business has been doubling month to month over month and we have a lot of people excited to get into this sector,” said co-founder Josiah Ickes on June 16. “There was this elderly couple, and they actually came in and all they did was drop a newspaper down that said marijuana legalization on it. Then, they just stared at me. It was really interesting because it was like they didn’t know what to do next, and that’s how a lot of people in the Commonwealth are.”
In a grow room next to the front register, Happy Trees has set up a display of how to cultivate marijuana inside at home using the correct materials and soil, but they are growing locally sourced tomato plants instead. Their tomato yields are donated to non-profits.
Co-founder Christopher Haynie, who heads the store’s horticulture efforts, said defoliating the tomato plants is an act of Zen for him each day. He doubts even when legal sales begin in Virginia three years from now, in-store retail grows will be allowed.
“The leaf doesn’t need to be there, then it goes away. It makes me happy,” Haynie said. “No marijuana will be grown here until the cannabis control authority releases strict regulations, and we get a license.”
Hayne said he spent several years working in three other states that already have legal marijuana markets. For Virginians thinking of navigating the new regulations to grow the plants at home, Haynie said proceed only with clarity and caution.
“What we don’t want in Virginia is for people who think they’re doing the right thing to inadvertently break the law and get in trouble for it,” he said. “It’s incumbent on us as responsible adults now that cannabis is legal in Virginia to follow the rules. I’ve never been much of a rule follower, but a lot of us have been waiting for this for a long time, so we’re not going to mess it up.”
For now, Happy Trees will only offer growing advice and equipment.
“I think we need to continue focusing on what we’re best at, and that’s helping educate people on how to grow the best plants possible,” Ickes said.
“As a responsible adult, the best thing you can do is read the regulations and/or consult an attorney,” said Haynie.
Virginia recently launched a state website to clarify what will and will not be allowed beginning July 1st. Visit cannabis.virginia.gov for more resources.
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Cannabis in Illinois – Laws, Use, and History
In 2019, Illinois became the eleventh US state to legalise recreational cannabis use. As of 2020, individuals can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flowers, which can be purchased from licenced vendors and dispensaries. Cannabis cultivation is still illegal though, unless it’s for medicinal purposes, and the grower has a Medical Marijuana card.
- Recreational cannabis
- Medicinal cannabis
- Legal since 2013
Cannabis laws in Illinois
The US is governed by federal and state laws. This article covers the cannabis laws in the state of Illinois. For US federal laws, please visit this page.
Can you possess and use cannabis in Illinois?
In June 2019, Illinois’ Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill to legalise recreational cannabis in the state. This makes Illinois the eleventh state in the US to do so. They are also the US’s first state to legalise recreational cannabis through its legislature.
The legalization came into effect on January 1 st , 2020, and all adults aged 21 and older may purchase recreational cannabis from licensed retailers in Illinois. The bill states:
- A medical cannabis card won’t be required to purchase it.
- Using cannabis is permitted in the individual’s home, or on-site in approved cannabis-related premises.
- Use is forbidden in any public place, in a motor vehicle, or on the grounds of an educational establishment. Students with medical marijuana cards may continue to use the drug at school, as per their physician’s guidelines.
- Cannabis use is also forbidden near anyone under the age of 21.
- It’s also forbidden near a police officer, firefighter, corrections officer, or on-duty school bus driver.
Purchase and possession limits for recreational cannabis are slightly different for Illinois residents and non-residents:
- For instate residents, 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrates, or 500 mg of cannabis-infused edibles, can be purchased.
- Non-residents can purchase 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of concentrate, or 250 mg of cannabis-infused products.
Illinois’ government has proposed tax rates on cannabis purchases. For cannabis flowers or other products containing under 35% of THC, there will be a 10% sales tax. Products infused with cannabis (such as tinctures or edibles) will have a 20% tax. Any other cannabis product with THC levels of over 35% will come with a 25% tax. Individual counties and cities in Illinois may also add extra local sales taxes.
The legislation proposes that the tax revenue will be used to regenerate poorer communities. When speaking about the changes to the law, Gov. Pritzker commented: “Legalising adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Existing criminal records for cannabis possession
In addition to legalising recreational cannabis, the new law may also expunge cannabis-possession criminal records for 800,000 people in the state.
Anyone with an existing conviction for possessing under 30 grams of cannabis will have their records sent to a Prisoner Review Board. Once reviewed, they’ll be passed on to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a pardon. Providing the offences aren’t connected with a violent crime, the record will be expunged.
Can you sell cannabis in Illinois?
Previously, only patients holding a valid Medical Cannabis card could purchase medicinal cannabis in Illinois. On June 25, 2019, Illinois made history by becoming the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis. Since the 1 st of January, 2020, adults aged 21 and older may purchase recreational cannabis from licensed retailers in Illinois.
Indeed, the early signs are promising. In September 2020, recreational cannabis sales hit a record high, with close to $64 million worth of the drug being sold in the previous month alone. In 2020, total sales reached $1.03 billion, including $669 million in recreational cannabis and more than $366 million in medicinal purchases.
In May 2021, according to the state of Illinois, throughout the 110 licensed dispensaries, over 2.5 million cannabis products were sold. State residents accounted for approximately $80 million, and sales increased from out of state residents who spent close to $37 million on cannabis related products.
MJBizDaily estimates that as many as 295 stores could be up and running by 2022, which would be 2.3 stores per 100,000 residents.
Kris Krane, one of the founders and president of 4Front Holdings, commented: “It’s a state of 13 million people with a very large tourist population in the Chicago area, so I think the business opportunities are huge.”
Can you grow cannabis in Illinois?
Unlike other US states that have legalised recreational cannabis, Illinois will not be legalising personal cannabis cultivation. It will remain illegal to grow cannabis plants at home (even in limited numbers), unless the grower is a medicinal cannabis patient. If the individual has a Medical Marijuana card, they can grow up to five plants at a time.
If caught cultivating up to five cannabis plants at home (without a medical ID card), the offender will be given a civil penalty of $200. Growing five to 20 plants is regarded as a felony, and is punishable with a one to six-year prison sentence, plus a fine of $25,000. 20 to 50 plants can result in a prison term of two to 10 years, and the same fine, and if caught growing 50 to 200 plants, the prison sentence is raised to three to 14 years, and a $100,000 fine. Over 200 plants will result in a four to 30-year prison term, plus a $100,000 fine.
From the start of 2020, licences will be gradually issued to companies in the state. These will be ‘craft growers’, who can apply for licences to cultivate as much as 5,000 square feet of cannabis crops.
Is CBD legal in Illinois?
The law is slightly ambiguous when it comes to CBD products. In Illinois, CBD is technically legal, as the state’s Cannabis Control Act (which set up a hemp research pilot programme) permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp. The federal Farm Bill also made hemp cultivation legal across the country.
As such, CBD products are widely sold in Illinois, and can be legally purchased and used, but there are certain ‘grey areas’, particularly regarding CBD-infused edibles.
Can cannabis seeds be sent to Illinois?
Cannabis seeds can be legally purchased and sold in the state. However, they must be ungerminated, as cultivation is still illegal. Sending cannabis seeds through the post can also be legally problematic (especially if the package passes through other states where the seeds are banned). Anecdotal reports claim that some seed parcels have been held at customs.
Medicinal cannabis in Illinois
Surprisingly, Illinois could have been one of the US’s first states to legalise medicinal cannabis use. In 1978, it passed the Cannabis Control Act, but in order for the law to fully come into force, the Human Services department and the State Police needed to take action. Neither did so, which meant that medicinal cannabis didn’t become legal until many years later.
In 2013, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was passed. This legalised medicinal cannabis use, but only in extremely tightly controlled circumstances. The programme was signed into law in the same year, making Illinois the 20 th state to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Illinois has a long list of health conditions that have been approved for medicinal cannabis treatment. These include:
In order to qualify for medicinal cannabis treatment in Illinois, the patient must be over 18 (or if a minor, must have an adult caregiver and certification from two physicians). They must also be a resident of the state and must have been formally diagnosed with one of the listed conditions.
Industrial hemp in Illinois
After the Farm Bill was passed at federal level (legalising hemp cultivation), the US states swiftly began to pass state laws, permitting farmers to grow hemp in their region.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, together with Illinois Department of Agriculture, opened up licencing in April 2019. In the first two days, 350 applications had been received, from farmers and processors wanting to start planting the crop.
“Industrial hemp is a potentially billion-dollar industry that Illinois will now take part in,” Pritzker commented. “This will have a massive impact on our state’s economy.”
Good to know
If you are travelling to Illinois (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:
- Illinois’ medicinal cannabis programme has proven to be lucrative for the state. In 2018, dispensary sales generated $133 million, and patient enrolment rose by 66%.
- In Chicago, 74% of citizens supported the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
- In September 2019, Chicago hosts its first industrial cannabis expo.
In 1931, Illinois was one of the earlier US states to ban recreational cannabis use; six years before the national prohibition law was passed. This anti-cannabis stance was maintained for several decades, though the rise of hippy culture in the 1960s challenged the status quo.
The situation started to change in 1978, when the state passed the Cannabis Control Act. This sought to legalise medical cannabis use, providing the State Police and Department of Human Services created the necessary drug policies to manage the new law. Neither department did so, and as such, the Cannabis Control Act never came into action.
In 2013, Illinois became the 20 th state in the country to legalise medicinal cannabis use. Then, in 2019, it became the eleventh state to legalise recreational use too.
Cannabis Use in Lebanon – Laws, Use, and History
Attitudes towards cannabis
Attitudes towards cannabis in Illinois are relatively positive. In a recent study, 74.4% of people expressed support for legalising recreational cannabis, with only 21% opposing it. In the 35 and under age group, 83% supported it. Although the age group with the least support was 66 years and over, they still demonstrated majority support – 51%.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide legal advice, as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.
1 thought on “Cannabis in Illinois – Laws, Use, and History”
I was a typical pothead till 2020. Since then, I’m a typical grower, I have my medical card. It’s not a weed, its a flower, technically….
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Legal Issues in Selling Cannabis Seeds in California
Last month marked the start of the typical marijuana grow season, which runs March through November, which meant individuals and large cannabis firms in California were on the hunt for high-quality seeds for purchase on the legal market. Cannabis seeds are at the core of the California marijuana industry, and the internet can connect farmers from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond to the growing demand.
But are sales of cannabis seeds legal? Some growers serve both the grey and legal market marijuana seeds.
As the legal cannabis market has expanded, selling cannabis seeds has become more commonplace, especially as consumers’ tastes become more refined. Still not all cannabis seed sales are lawful.
Genetic Seed Variations Can Be Protected Intellectual Property
Los Angeles marijuana lawyers recognize there is great diversity in seed genetics, and advise companies to seek counsel before arranging any kind of retail sale or transport.
Many marijuana growers pride themselves on their extensive knowledge of marijuana growth, which obviously begins with the seed. The three basic types of cannabis seeds are regular, autoflowering and female, with each containing broad subtypes, often referred to as “strains.” Many cannabis cultivators pride themselves on various elements of the strains they grow, as the effects can vary widely depending on seed properties. Certain strains are better for those seeking medicinal relief, while others are better for creating various degrees of intoxication and still others for a distinct taste. Growers are increasingly asserting intellectual property rights, something all cultivators should discuss with their cannabis business attorney.
Cannabis Seed Sales and California Law
Laws pertaining to sales of marijuana seeds or associated products vary a great deal in the U.S. and beyond, in part because there is a general lack of understanding on how they should be defined. Some consider seed sales ancillary to the cannabis market, but the reality is because these are part of the cannabis plant (or rather, its origins) these too are controlled.
Generally speaking, cannabis seeds can be lawfully purchased by adults states with legal adult recreational use (like California) either at a dispensary or online intrastate (meaning not purchased from another state – even one that has also legalized the drug). The reason for this restriction is that interstate sales fall under the purview of federal law, which still considers marijuana a dangerous narcotic.
Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries routinely sell pot seeds over-the-counter, and cost is roughly $12 for a pack of 10, though higher-end strains can run several hundred dollars. Dispensary options are limited compared to what one might find online at a California cannabis seed bank.
The California Cannabis Control Board in accordance with Prop. 64 caps the maximum number of cannabis plants that can be grown by an individual at any given time at six. That assumes you’re over 21 and aren’t doing so in a community that has a local ordinance banning or further restricting such cultivation.
Those selling cannabis seeds in California, either in-store or online, need to be certain procedures are in place to prevent sales to restricted buyers (mostly minors).
Buying, selling or transporting those seeds out-of-state though is where things can get dicey.
International Weed Seed Sales
Internationally, many countries don’t restrict or regulate cannabis seed sales, as the seeds have a myriad of benign uses. These can include production of clothing material, oils and food for animals/fishing bait.
However, other countries are much more strict about what can be imported and for what purpose. Los Angeles cannabis lawyers strongly advise anyone conducting international sales of any cannabis product to consult with an attorney. Failure to do so could affect your pocketbook (if customs in another country refuses to allow your shipment to reach its final destination). However, it can also draw the attention of U.S. law enforcement agents, with the possibility of criminal charges.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.