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Illinois Introduces Recreational Cannabis Legislation

May 7, 2019

Illinois lawmakers have released their bill to legalize recreational cannabis statewide. Called the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the 522-page bill is one of the most comprehensive introduced anywhere, with full consideration given to business licensing, taxation, criminal record expungement, and equity initiatives like minority entrepreneur funding that proved such a sticking point during New York and New Jersey’s unsuccessful deliberations earlier this year.

The bill would create a “craft grower” license designation modeled on those for craft brewing and distilling. Tax rates, which would vary depending on product potency, would place Illinois at the higher end in the taxation rankings—closer to Washington than California—but within the usual range. The Act faces an accelerated timeline, with hearings and a final vote all planned for this month before the legislative session ends on May 31.—Danny Sullivan

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