CHICAGO (CBS) — Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Illinois.
On Friday state lawmakers made it a reality.
It goes into effect January 1. State representatives voted 66 to 47 in favor of legalization, two days after the Senate passed the bill, but there will still be restrictions.
Adults 21 and older must purchase cannabis in licensed stores. Buys will be limited to 30 grams of raw marijuana, 500 milligrams THC in cannabis-infused products and five grams in concentrated items.
Additionally, no product may be transported over state lines.
It’s a Pritzker campaign promise now made good, but as the vote grew close, opponents loudly voiced their concerns.
“But my goodness, there sure seems to be a lot red flags on this issue,” said Representative Mark Batinick (R-97th.)
“There’s further not the testing we need to know, the testing available to us, to tell whether someone is intoxicated. It’s just not there yet,” added Representative Dan Ugaste (R-65th.)
There are other restrictions too. Employers can still maintain a zero-tolerance workplace. Landlords and small businesses can prohibit cannabis and towns can decide how or if cannabis-related businesses can set up shot in their municipality.
The approval is still pending Pritzker’s signature to make it official.
For the state, which is currently facing a $3.2 billion budget deficit, this can’t hurt. It’s expectd to bring in about $58 million in 2020 with projections to double the following year.
For context, Colorado, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2014, had $1.5 billion in sales last year, according to its department of revenue.
“We expect people to be beating down the doors, to be quite honest with you,” said Paul Lee, the general manager of Dispensary 33 in Andersonville.
Such dispensaries will get a first crack at the sales.
“Our phone is off the hook today, and I think January 1 we will have a line out the door all day,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of practice with the medical, however, we believe it’s a brand new game. It’s a new culture, and we are prepared to meet what’s expected of us.”