Illinois Adult Use Cannabis – By the Numbers


At Supercritical, we aim to provide timely and insightful information and to do so in a succinct and concise manner. Vagaries still exist around some of the figures bandied about for Illinois’ legal adult use cannabis legislation and rollout. Provided for the reader are some of the more salient numbers, with thanks to The Marijuana Policy Project (original article here). For information on the Social Equity portion of the HB, please refer to

Cannabis possession and sales

Starting January 1, 2020, adults 21 and older may possess cannabis and purchase cannabis products in licensed stores. Possession is limited to:

  • 30 grams of raw cannabis;
  • Cannabis-infused product or products containing no more than 500 mg of THC; and
  • Five grams of cannabis product in concentrated form.

Non-residents may purchase half that amount, or 15 grams of cannabis, 250 mg of THC in a cannabis-infused product, and 2.5 grams of concentrated cannabis product.

Expunging criminal records

HB 1438 will usher in one of the most sweeping criminal justice reforms so far in the cannabis movement.

  • The governor’s clemency process will be used for convictions of up to 30 grams. These expungements will be automatic.
  • For amounts of 30-500 grams, the clemency process also applies, however the individual must petition the court to vacate the conviction.

In all, around 770,000 cannabis-related records will be eligible for expungement.

Business licenses

The following types of cannabis business licenses will be issued:

  • Dispensary: Provides cannabis products to adult consumers.
  • Infuser: Infuses products such as edibles with cannabis extract.
  • Transporter: Transports cannabis between business licensees.
  • Craft Grower: Can grow between 5,000 and 14,000 square feet of canopy space and may be separately licensed as an infuser and a dispensary at the same facility.
  • Cultivation Center: Can grow up to 210,000 square feet of canopy space


At the wholesale level, cannabis products will be subject to a 7% tax when they are sold by cultivation centers or craft grows.

At the retail level, Illinois is taking a unique approach. Rather than a blanket tax for all cannabis products, Illinois will charge a tax rate based on the relative potency of the cannabis and the type of product. The more concentrated THC is, the higher the tax rate:

  • 10% tax will apply to cannabis flower or products with less than 35% THC
  • 20% tax will apply to products infused with cannabis, such as edible products
  • 25% tax will apply to any product with a THC concentration higher than 35%

In addition to these scalable tax rates, the state’s regular 6.25% sales tax rate also applies, along with local taxes of up to 3.5%. The range consumers will pay at the register — which does not include the 7% tax levied at wholesale — will be between 19.55% to 34.75% retail tax, depending on the product’s potency

Revenue distribution

After covering the costs of administration and expungement, the remaining funds will be distributed as follows:

  • 2% to public education and safety campaigns
  • 8% to the Local Government Distributive Fund, for prevention and training for law enforcement
  • 25% to the Recover, Reinvest, and Renew (3R) Program
  • 20% to mental health services and substance abuse programs
  • 10% to pay unpaid bills
  • 35% to the General Revenue Fund

Home cultivation for patients

Beginning on January 1, 2020, medical cannabis patients may purchase cannabis seeds and grow up to five plants at their residence. There are limitations on home growing, however, including a cap of five plants per household, regardless of the number of residents who are 21 or over, and plants will need to be secured and out of view by the public. Home cultivators can keep what they grow, but possession limits still apply outside the residence, and sales are prohibited unless part of a licensed cannabis business.