Let's Talk Cannabis

Key Facts

21+Like alcohol, you can legally use cannabis when you turn 21.

Illinois residents 21 and older 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.

Click on each question to get the answer.

 Who can buy non-medical marijuana?

Like alcohol, if you are 21 years and older, you 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.

 Who can possess non-medical cannabis?

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, dabs, 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. Cannabis is not legal under federal law, which means immigrants and non-US citizens are not allowed to use or possess ANY amount of marijuana. Doing so could affect their immigration status and result in deportation.

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

 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 any motorized vehicle, including boats and motorcycles
  • Anywhere you cannot possess marijuana (see “Who can possess?” section above)

 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 sell marijuana. Like alcohol, as an individual you are not allowed to sell any amount of marijuana to anyone, regardless of whether or not you have a medical marijuana card.

 What are the consequences of breaking the law?

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

As 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.

Learn More About the LawLearn about immigration consequences