Why Illinois’ New Cannabis Law is Considered The Most Progressive Bill Yet
Illinois is slated to legalize recreational cannabis on January 1, 2020. The bill that was proposed is considered one of the most progressive cannabis bills yet. This week Miggy and Tom sat down with Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), one of the four women who crafted the incredible HB 1438 – The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Who is Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth?
- Born, raised, and resides in Peoria, IL
- Graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- The representative of Illinois’ 92nd district
- First Black woman to be elected to represent the central region of the state in the Illinois General Assembly
- Passed the largest and most comprehensive criminal justice reform bill, SB 2872 – The Neighborhood Safety Act
- Negotiated the first Historic Tax Credit in the state of Illinois’ history
- Proud mother, wife, and advocate
- Champions her mother, Annie Jo Gordon’s, words, “Bettering a community takes everybody’s help.”
What Makes This Bill So Progressive?
- Expunges prior low-level cannabis possession which could affect more than 750,000 people
- The Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program will be established to address the impact of economic disinvestment, violence, and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system. 25% of state revenue will be allocated to the R3 Program
- 20% of the revenue generated by the sale of adult-use cannabis will support efforts to address substance abuse, prevention, and mental health.
- A Social Equity Applicant is someone who:
- Has resided for at least 5 years in a disproportionately impacted area (an area that is economically disadvantaged and has been impacted by high rates of arrests, convictions, and incarceration for violations of the Cannabis Control Act)
- Has been arrested, convicted, or adjudged to be in the juvenile court for an offense that is eligible for expungement under this Act or is a member of an impacted family
- An applicant with at least 10 full-time employees where at least 51% reside in a disproportionately impacted area or has been arrested, convicted, or adjudged to be in the juvenile court for an offense that is eligible for expungement under this Act or is a member of an impacted family
- The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will have a low-interest loan program for qualified “social equity applicants” to assist with the start-up costs of entering the cannabis industry
- 50 out of 250 points, or 20% of the total points available are designated for applicants that qualify as “social equity applicants”
- If Social Equity Applicants meet certain conditions, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture will waive 50% of any non-refundable license application fees and any non-refundable fees associated with purchasing a license to operate a cannabis business
Quick Facts About HB 1438 – The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
- Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower
- Non-Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be able to possess up to 15 grams of cannabis flower
- The Act does not prohibit employers from enforcing reasonable drug-free policies or administering drug testing
- The Department of Revenue projects that the industry will generate over $57 million in tax revenue and licensing fees in 2020
- 10% of the purchase price on cannabis with THC levels at or below 35%
- 20% of the purchase price on all cannabis-infused products
- 25% of the purchase price on cannabis with THC levels above 35%
- Home growing is limited to medical patients
Interested in coming on as a guest? Email our producer at firstname.lastname@example.org.