Last year was truly memorable for the cannabis movement. After decades of operating in the shadows, Canada became the first industrialized country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana and only the second overall behind Uruguay.
We also witnessed history made in other aspects of the marijuana movement more than a dozen times. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration legalized its first-ever cannabis-derived drug, support for legalization hit an all-time high, and more states than ever have waved the green flag on weed from a medical and/or adult-use perspective, with 33 medical marijuana-legal states, 10 of which also allow adult consumption.
And this figure is about to change, once again.
IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.
Illinois is set to become the 11th state to legalize recreational weed
A little more than a week ago, the Illinois Legislature overwhelmingly voted in favor of House Bill 1438, which is a measure that will legalize recreational marijuana throughout the Land of Lincoln by Jan. 1, 2020. The bill allows adults aged 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, with nonresidents allowed to possess up to half the amount of state residents.
As with the other 10 states (and Washington, D.C.) to have given the green light to adult-use marijuana, an excise tax will be imposed on sales. According to the bill, an excise tax of 10% will be imposed on products containing less than 35% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets a user high, with a considerably higher tax of 25% on products with higher doses of THC, such as concentrates. Mind you, this doesn’t include state and local/municipality taxes that are added onto retail sales in the state. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, expects that this tax will generate $170 million in 2020, which will partially help the state meet its numerous underfunded obligations.