This list of Frequently Asked Questions is designed to highlight common topics contained within Public Act 101-0027 (the “Act”), which is over 600 pages long. As the State of Illinois implements the Act, there will likely be clarifications on these topics and the portal will be updated.
Click on a dropdown below for more information.
- Dispensing Organizations Business Regulations & Advertising
- Craft Growers & Cultivation Centers
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- Employment Concerns
- Record Expungement
Note: In addition to the regulations contained in the Act, municipalities may enact ordinances to prohibit or significantly limit a cannabis business establishment’s location, and may enact reasonable zoning ordinances or resolutions regulating cannabis business establishments. Municipalities may also enact reasonable ordinances or rules governing the time, place, manner and number of cannabis business establishment operations, including minimum distance limitations between cannabis business establishments and locations it deems sensitive, including colleges and universities, through the use of conditional use permits.
What is the definition of “Dispensing organization?”"Dispensing organization" means a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to acquire cannabis from a cultivation center, craft grower, processing organization, or another dispensary for the purpose of selling or dispensing cannabis, cannabis-infused products, cannabis seeds, paraphernalia, or related supplies under the Act to purchasers or to qualified registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers. As used in the Act, dispensary organization shall include a registered medical cannabis organization as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act or its successor Act that has obtained an Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing Organization License.
What methods of sale by dispensing organizations are prohibited?Drive-through windows, vending machines, transport of cannabis to residences or other locations where purchasers may be for delivery are all prohibited by the Act.
When are dispensaries allowed to operate?• Operation is allowed, per the Act, between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M.
• Operation is prohibited under any of the following circumstances: when video surveillance equipment is inoperative, when point-of-sale equipment is inoperative, when the State’s cannabis electronic verification system is inoperative, or when there are fewer than 2 people working on site.
What products are dispensing organizations prohibited from selling?Dispensing organizations cannot sell any product containing alcohol except tinctures, which are limited to containers no larger than 100 milliliters. They are prohibited from selling clones or other live plant material. Selling cannabis, cannabis concentrate, or cannabis-infused products in combination or bundled with each other for one price is prohibited.
Can dispensing organizations sell cannabis outside of Illinois or obtain cannabis from outside of Illinois?Dispensing organizations cannot transport cannabis or cannabis products across state lines. Dispensing organizations may not obtain cannabis or cannabis-infused products from outside the State of Illinois.
What type of packaging is required for cannabis sold at dispensing organizations?ll cannabis sold by a dispensing organization to purchasers must be in a container or package with a label identifying, at a minimum, the name of the dispensing organization, the contents, and the weight of the raw cannabis in grams or, for cannabis products, the amount of THC in milligrams.
Are there restrictions in the Act on the location of dispensing organizations?• A dispensing organization may not be located within 1500 feet of the property line of a pre-existing dispensing organization.
What is the process for a dispensing organization to dispense cannabis to a purchaser?Before cannabis is dispensed:
• The age of the purchaser shall be verified by checking a government-issued identification card by use of an electronic reader or electronic scanning device to scan the identification;
• The validity of the government-issued identification card must be verified;
• Any appropriate purchaser education or support materials shall be offered; and
• Information must be entered into the State’s cannabis electronic verification system, including the dispensing organization’s agent’s identification number, the dispensing organization’s identification number, the amount, type (including strain, if applicable) of cannabis or cannabis-infused product dispensed, and the date and time the cannabis was dispensed.
• A dispensing organization shall refuse to sell cannabis to anyone unless the person produces a valid identification showing that the person is 21 years of age or older. However, a medical cannabis dispensing organization may sell cannabis or cannabis-infused products to a person who is under 21 years of age if the sale complies with the provisions of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and rules.
What are the restrictions on advertising for a cannabis business establishment?• No cannabis business establishment nor any entity or person shall engage in advertising that contains any statement or illustration that is:
o False or misleading;
o Promotes the overconsumption of cannabis;
o Displays cannabis;
o Shows someone under 21 consuming cannabis;
o Makes health or medicinal claims about cannabis;
o Includes the image of the cannabis leaf or bud; or
o Includes any image that is likely to appeal to minors.
• No cannabis business establishment nor any person or entity shall place or maintain or cause to be placed or maintained an advertisement in any form:
o Within 1000 feet of school grounds, playground, hospital, health care facility, recreation center, child care center; public park, public library; or game arcade that admits persons under the age of 21 ;
o On or in a public transportation vehicle or on a public transportation shelter: or, on or in publicly-owned or publicly operated property.
What is the definition of “Craft grower?”"Craft grower" means a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Department of Agriculture to cultivate, dry, cure, and package cannabis and perform other necessary activities to make cannabis available for sale at a dispensing organization or use at a processing organization. A craft grower may contain up to 5,000 square feet of canopy space on its premises for plants in the flowering state. The Department of Agriculture may authorize an increase or decrease of flowering stage cultivation space in increments of 3,000 square feet by rule based on market need, craft grower capacity, and the licensee's history of compliance or noncompliance, with a maximum space of 14,000 square feet for cultivating plants in the flowering stage, which must be cultivated in all stages of growth in an enclosed and secure area. A craft grower may share premises with a processing organization or a dispensing organization, or both, provided each licensee stores currency and cannabis or cannabis-infused products in a separate secured vault to which the other licensee does not have access or all licensees sharing a vault share more than 50% of the same ownership.
Are craft growers inspected? How, and by whom?Craft growers are subject to random inspections by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Public Health, local safety or health inspectors, and the Department of State Police.
To whom may craft growers sell cannabis?Craft growers can sell or distribute cannabis to a cultivation center, a craft grower, an infuser organization, a dispensing organization, or as otherwise authorized by rule.
What are the limitations on the location of craft growers?A craft grower may not be located in an area zoned for residential use; a craft grower shall not be located within 1,500 feet of another craft grower or a cultivation center.
What is the definition of “Cultivation center?”"Cultivation center" means a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Department of Agriculture to cultivate, process, transport (unless otherwise limited by the Act), and perform other necessary activities to provide cannabis and cannabis-infused products to cannabis business establishments.
Are cultivation centers inspected? How, and by whom?Cultivation centers are subject to random inspections by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Public Health, local safety or health inspectors, and the Department of State Police.
To whom may cultivation centers sell cannabis?Cultivation centers can sell or distribute cannabis or cannabis-infused products to dispensing organizations, craft growers, infusing organizations, transporters, or as otherwise authorized by rule.
What is the maximum space a cultivation center may provide for plants in the flowering stage?A cultivation center may not contain more than 210,000 square feet of canopy space for plants in the flowering stage for cultivation of adult use cannabis as provided in this Act.
How will DUI’s be addressed under the new law?
• Driving under the influence of cannabis will continue to be illegal.
• The Act allows for use of validated roadside chemical tests or standardized field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when conducting investigations of a violation of Section 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Motor Vehicle Code or a similar local ordinance by drivers suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis.
• The results of validated roadside chemical tests and standardized field sobriety tests are, under the Act, admissible at a civil or criminal trial or proceeding for an arrest for a cannabis-related offense as defined in Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar local ordinance.
• The Act creates a DUI Cannabis Task Force to examine best practices for driving under the influence of cannabis enforcement and emerging technology in roadside testing.
• The Act creates various statutory presumptions applicable to cannabis DUIs:
o Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of 5 nanograms or more in whole blood or 10 nanograms or more in an other bodily substance creates a presumption that a person was under the influence of cannabis
o Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of less than 5 nanograms in whole blood or less than 10 nanograms in an other bodily substance does not give rise to a presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of cannabis, but may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of cannabis.
• The refusal to submit to a chemical test will result in the imposition of driver's license sanctions under Section 11-501.1 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.
• The refusal to take validated roadside chemical tests or standardized field sobriety tests is admissible in any civil or criminal action or proceeding regarding impairment by use of cannabis.
• An authorized medical cannabis patient who drives is deemed to have given consent to (i) validated roadside chemical tests or (ii) standardized field sobriety tests.
• Law enforcement officers must have an independent, cannabis-related factual basis giving reasonable suspicion that a person is driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired by the use of cannabis to conduct validated roadside chemical tests or standardized field sobriety tests.
Can an employer maintain a drug-free workplace?• The Act specifies that nothing shall prohibit an employer from adopting: reasonable zero-tolerance or drug-free workplace policies; employment policies concerning drug testing; or regulations concerning smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis at the workplace.
• These policies must be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.
• Employers’ policies may cover use of cannabis in the employer’s workplace, while performing the employee’s job duties, or while “on call.” An employee is deemed “on call” when he or she is scheduled with at least 24 hours’ notice by employer to be on standby or otherwise responsible for performing tasks related to his or her employment.
• An employer may discipline an employee for violating a workplace drug policy. If the employer elects to discipline the employee, the employer must give the employee reasonable opportunity to contest the determination.
• Nothing in the Act shall be construed to interfere with any federal, State, or local restrictions on employment including, but not limited to, the United Stated Department of Transportation regulation 49 CFR 40.151(e), or impact an employer’s ability to comply with federal or State law or cause it to lose a federal or State contract or funding.
How can an employer determine whether an employee is impaired by the use of cannabis?An employer may consider an employee to be impaired if the employer has a good faith belief that the employee manifests specific, articulable symptoms while working that decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks.
What records will be expunged?Most Cannabis convictions under the Cannabis Control Act for possession of under 30 grams that are not associated with an arrest, conviction or other disposition of a violent crime as defined in subsection (c) of Section 3 of the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act. (“Minor Cannabis Offenses”) will be automatically expunged by all law enforcement agencies, including records of an arrest, charges not initiated by arrest, orders of supervision, or orders of qualified probation for all offenses committed prior to the Act if: One year or more has elapsed since the date of the arrest; or No criminal charges were filed or if filed they were dismissed and/or arrestee was acquitted.
What is the Process for automatic expungement?
The automatic expungement process requires the following:
o The Department of State Police must identify all individuals with criminal records that are eligible for expungement and automatically expunge records of Minor Cannabis Offenses within two years of the effective date of the Act.
o Within 180 days of the effective date of the Act, the Department of State Police must notify (a) the prosecutor’s offices responsible for prosecuting the offenses, (b) local law enforcement agencies, and (c) the Illinois Attorney General’s office, identifying all individuals with Minor Cannabis Offenses that are eligible for expungement.
o Within 180 days of receipt of the notice from the Department of State Police, the appropriate States Attorney’s offices shall file a proposed order with the court seeking expungement on behalf of individuals with eligible offenses. The Attorney General’s office may file the proposed order if the State’s Attorney has not.
o Within 180 days after receiving the proposed order, the court will review the proposed order and order the expungement of court and law enforcement records unless it determines that the offense does not meet the definition of a Minor Cannabis Offense.
o The court will provide copies of the order to the Department of State Police, the arresting agency, relevant criminal justice agencies, and the individual whose record has-been expunged.
o The automatic expungement process does not apply to individuals with misdemeanor or Class 4 felony violations that were accompanied by charges other than a qualifying offense. Individuals with those records, and individuals in other circumstances, may separately petition the court to have their records expunged.
o Those convicted for possession of between 30 to 500 grams would have the option of petitioning for expungement themselves. Local state’s attorneys could also pursue expungement for those convictions on a case-by-case basis.
What is the Schedule for automatic expungement?The Act provides that all law enforcement agencies must expunge qualifying records according to the following schedule:
o Records created prior to the effective date of the Act, but on or after January 1, 2013, shall be automatically expunged prior to January 1, 2021;
o Records created prior to January 1, 2013, but on or after January 1, 2000, shall be automatically expunged prior to January 1, 2023;
o Records created prior to January 1, 2000, shall be automatically expunged prior to January 1, 2025.