Let's Talk Cannabis

Key facts about the cannabis law

Legal Age


You must be 21 to legally use, possess, and buy cannabis.


Illinois residents can only possess up to 30 grams (about an ounce) of cannabis flower.


Smoking, vaping, or consuming cannabis is illegal in motor vehicles & public spaces.


Individuals cannot legally sell any amount of cannabis to anyone.


By federal law, it is illegal to travel across state borders with any amount of cannabis.

Get the answers to common questions

 Who can buy non-medical marijuana?

Illinois residents 21 years and older can buy from licensed sellers with or without a medical marijuana card as of January 1, 2020. You will need to show a valid government-issued photo ID with date of birth.

Non-US citizens or immigrants are NOT allowed to buy, use, or possess any amount of marijuana. Because it is not legal under federal law, doing so could affect their immigration status and result in deportation.

 How much cannabis can you possess?

Illinois residents age 21 years and older can have up to:

  • 30 grams (about an ounce) of cannabis flower
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate (oils, dab, or kief)
  • 500 milligrams of THC within cannabis-infused products (including edibles or tinctures)

U.S. citizens who don’t live in Illinois can possess up to half these amounts when visiting the state. Immigrants and non-US citizens cannot have ANY amount of marijuana.

 Where can you consume marijuana legally?

You CAN use behind closed doors in:

  • A private home
  • On any private property of which the owner (person, business, landlord, college) approves of use. If you are unsure, check your lease or contact the property owner
  • Locally approved dispensaries and retail tobacco stores

You CANNOT use:

  • In close proximity to anyone younger than 21 years of age, even if on otherwise approved private property
  • On any private property of which the owner (person, business, landlord, college) does NOT approve of use
  • In any public place, including parks, beaches, open garages, front porches, outdoor stairwells, etc.
  • In/on any motorized vehicle, including boats and motorcycles

 Where is it illegal to possess in Illinois?

You may NOT possess cannabis:

  • On any federal land within Illinois, such as national park service areas
  • In section 8 government-funded housing
  • In parks, recreation areas, wildlife areas, or playgrounds owned (in whole or part), leased, or managed by the state
  • Traveling across state borders

 What are the rules for growing?

Only medicinal marijuana card holders can grow, with a 5-plant limit. Non-medical users may not grow any amount of marijuana, under any circumstances.

 Who can sell marijuana legally?

Only licensed dispensaries can legally sell marijuana. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, individuals are not allowed to sell any amount of marijuana to anyone.

 What are the consequences of breaking the law?

Breaking any of these laws could result in legal consequences. This includes arrest if you are operating any motorized vehicle under the influence of cannabis, including motorcycles and boats.

If you’re an immigrant or non-U.S. citizen, breaking the law can hurt your immigration status. Learn more here

 Can I get prior charges off my record?

If you’ve previously been convicted for possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, your record will be automatically reviewed by the government, as long as those convictions were not associated with a violent crime. If you’ve been convicted for having between 30 to 500 grams, you can petition the government to clear your record.

 Can I use cannabis while driving?

Driving a motorized vehicle (this includes boats and motorcycles) while using or under the influence of cannabis is illegal and can double your chances of getting in an accident.

Learn More About the LawLearn about immigration consequences