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Canna-Questions: Is Weed Legal in Chicago?

Dec, 2021
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Is weed legal in Chicago? Recreational or medical? Yes, both medical marijuana and recreational weed are legal in Chicago. But, that’s not all you should know about weed in the Windy City.

Today, we will be combing through the state of things in the Illinois cannabis industry to beam light on Chicago weed statutes and highlight how they affect you as a resident or a visitor.

The city of Broad Shoulder has always stood out in U.S history for a whole lot of intriguing reasons. That streak has not ended, as the state of Illinois — Chicago, especially — is creating trends in the cannabis industry and raising some interesting conversation points.

Asking if weed is legal in Chicago comes with intricate baggage. Let’s have a look at what’s inside.

chicago; is weed legal in chicago

As of 2019, if you had asked, “Is medical marijuana legal in Chicago?” The answer would have been a resounding yes. If instead, you had asked, “Is weed legal in Chicago?” Someone might have asked if you meant weed as in the regular stuff or medical weed. Well, today, it doesn’t matter how you phrase your question; the answer is yes.

Chicago Marijuana Laws: Medical Marijuana in Illinois

Cannabis got phased out of the streets of Chicago and other Illinois cities back in the 30s when prohibition started. The prohibition led to many arrests and a pile-up of criminal records, even for the tiniest possession of cannabis. Later on, in 1978, the Cannabis Control Act was passed but never actualized due to the unwillingness of state departments to facilitate it.

Finally, in January 2014, medical marijuana became legal in Illinois under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. At that point, marijuana was made available only to patients suffering from some listed diseases, registered on the program, and had a medical marijuana card. Cannabis was legal, but strictly for medical purposes. 

However,  in 2019, the program was elevated from a “pilot” program to a permanent program under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act. The reason behind the permanence of the act was hinged on the proposition that marijuana replaces opioid painkillers, which often have severe side effects on some patients.

This upward move came at a time when the processes for the legalization of recreational pot were intensified.

You can read more on the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act here.

Chicago Marijuana Laws: The Legalization of Recreational Chicago Weed

If you can casually walk into a Chicago dispensary today and get yourself some premium Chicago weed, it’s all thanks to Governor Pritzker. J.B Pritzker is widely known as a pro-legalization advocate. As the governor, he signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly.

Surprisingly, Illinois is the second state (after Vermont) to legalize marijuana via a state legislature. Marijuana legalization was always a case of citizen initiatives, with voters deciding whether to legalize marijuana via balloting.

As the 11th state to legalize marijuana, Illinois switched things up a bit in new and interesting directions.

READ MORE: How Plants Can You Grow in Illinois?

Interesting Facts About Illinois and Chicago Weed Legalization

cannabis products: grinder, lighter, flower, and pre-roll

If you are curious about the legality of weed in Chicago, you should understand some interesting things, some of which you can maximize.

Social Equity Program

Illinois was the first state to establish a social equity program alongside weed legalization. The state government’s interest to ameliorate the impacts of the past war on drugs on most affected communities drove the inclination towards social equity.

By extension, the social equity policy provides an avenue for individuals from these communities, or low-income communities in general, to assimilate and become part of the legal cannabis industry without the feeling of discrimination.

Boasts One of the Most Thriving Cannabis Populations in the U.S

The legalization of weed in Illinois saw the biggest opening day in U.S recreational cannabis sales history. Second, only to Oregon, Illinoisians spent a whopping $3.2 million on the first day of recreational sales.

Of the 37 dispensaries that started recreational cannabis in Illinois, 9 were located in Chicago. The coldness of the day didn’t stop consumers from searching for and queuing at the nearest Chicago dispensary to spend some cash on some legal Chicago weed.

Despite having a relatively younger cannabis market in 2020, Illinois recorded about $543 million in cannabis sales. Thus, becoming one of the top ten states with the most sales in 2020.

This might indicate the willingness of residents to shift patronage from illegal, street-corner dealers to embrace premium Chicago marijuana. Despite the higher price.

If you are interested in having a share of this growing market, you may consider applying for an Illinois Cannabis Craft Grower license. The social equity program allows qualified social equity applicants to get the forms at half the initial fee.

Mass Expungement

Illinois had one of the toughest wars on drugs during prohibition in the 30s. Unsurprisingly, the war also brought about numerous unjust arrests. As part of the social equity policy, the state is considering expunging up to 770,000 criminal records for cannabis-related crimes. So far, they have erased 11,000 convictions.

You can check out this Chicago Tribune article to know if you qualify to have your weed-related criminal records expunged and how you can go about it.

Where to Get Weed in Chicago

dispensary interior; is weed legal in chicago

If all you were asking before is, “is weed legal in Chicago?” Now you know that it is, but, where can you get Chicago weed?

You can buy cannabis and cannabis products at any Chicago dispensary close to you. Below is a list of the 10 dispensaries in the Windy City.

  • Sunnyside, 3812 N. Clark Street
  • Dispensary 33, 5001 N. Clark Street
  • MOCA Modern Cannabis, 2847 N. Milwaukee Avenue
  • Maribis of Chicago, 4570 S. Archer Avenue
  • Columbia Care, 4758 N. Milwaukee Avenue
  • Mission Illinois, 8554 S. Commercial Avenue
  • The Herbal Care Center, 1301 S. Western Avenue
  • Midway Dispensary, 5648 S. Archer Avenue
  • Consume: Chicago, 6428 N. Milwaukee Avenue
  • Nu Med Chicago, 1308 W. North Avenue

You can use any weed delivery service in Chicago to transport your weed from a Chicago dispensary, too! Just make sure you have your ID validated with the company first. 

For patients looking for the best medical dispensary in Chicago, a good option would be The Herbal Care Center, Chicago.

READ MORE: Save Money at These Medical Dispensaries in Illinois

What Can You Buy at a Chicago Dispensary?

One thing you are most likely to notice about any Chicago dispensary you walk into is the pristineness of the stores. Usually, all products are prepacked and put on locked displays.

And surely, you can find anything weed, weed-based, or weed-infused in any of these dispensaries, including:

  • Buds – loose or pre-packaged
  • Pre-rolled joints
  • Sprays
  • Topicals
  • Concentrates
  • Oils
  • Vapes
  • Edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Clones
  • Suppositories

A Heads Up to Chicago Residents and Visitors

As a resident or visitor in Chicago, there are a few things you must know:

  • You must be 21 or older and with a valid ID before legally purchasing, possessing, or consuming marijuana in Chicago. According to Chicago marijuana law, Patients 18 or older with a qualifying condition can access medical marijuana using a medical marijuana card.
  • Per visit to a dispensary and at any other given time, residents can possess up to 30g cannabis flower, 5g concentrate, and 500mg of THC in a weed-infused product. For non-residents, everything goes by half – 15g cannabis flower, 5g of cannabis concentrate, and 250mg of THC in a weed-infused product.
  • Only registered, qualifying patients can grow cannabis at home.
  • Cash is king at cannabis dispensaries. So, be sure to go with your cash, or expect to use an ATM, which is often within the vicinity.

Medical Marijuana Cards for Medical Cannabis Patients — Online

Is medical marijuana legal in Chicago? Yup. How can you access it? With your medical marijuana card, of course!

All patients with qualifying conditions are encouraged to register for the medical cannabis program and get their medical marijuana card before accessing cannabis. Typically, you might find the process to be a bit of a chore, and the fees by most service providers are outrageous. But, with Elevate Holistics, you can avoid all that trouble.

Right at the comfort of your home, we can help you book an appointment with a certified medical marijuana doctor and get on with the process of getting your card in three simple steps. All in all, we offer affordable rates and can help you get your IL MMJ card recommendation in just 48 hours. 

To get your own medical cannabis card, book an appointment using our scheduler below.