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General Questions

Who may purchase cannabis?

Adults 21 years of age or older may buy cannabis.  Medical patients under 21 years old may receive a prescription for cannabis and purchase or have their caregiver purchase cannabis from a medical dispensary. 

How much may a purchaser possess?

Illinois residents over the age of 21 may legally possess:


·         30 grams of cannabis flower (approximately 1 ounce of cannabis flower);

·         500 mg of THC in a cannabis-infused product; and

·         5 grams of a cannabis concentrate.


Non-residents over the age of 21 may legally possess: 


·         15 grams of cannabis flower (approximately ½ ounce of cannabis flower);

·         250mg of THC in a cannabis-infused product; and 

·         2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate.


These totals are cumulative, meaning a person 21 years of age or older may possess a combination of cannabis flower, cannabis-infused products, and cannabis concentrates up to the limit for each category of product.


Where can I find a dispensary?

The current list of dispensaries is available on our Dispensary Locations ( page or available at

Can I grow my own?

Only Registered Qualifying Medical Cannabis Patients may grow up to 5 cannabis plants at home.  Additional restrictions on personal cultivation apply.

Can I consume cannabis at an on-site consumption lounge?

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act permits local governments to authorize consumption lounges, either on-site at a dispensary, or at a standalone retail tobacco store. 

Are there rules for how I can transport cannabis in a vehicle?

While a motor vehicle is in operation, cannabis must be in a sealed, odor-proof, child-resistant container. It is a Class A misdemeanor to transport cannabis in any other type of container. Cannabis cannot be used in a motor vehicle and should not be transported across state lines. 


Where can I possess and consume cannabis?

Legalization of cannabis does not permit a person under the influence of cannabis to engage in any tasks that would constitute negligence, professional malpractice, or professional misconduct.  Specifically, you may not use cannabis and drive any car, aircraft, boat, or other vehicle in violation of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.


The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act also prohibits possession:

o   In a school bus (unless registered as a cannabis patient or caregiver);

o   On school grounds, including preschools, primary or secondary schools (unless registered as a cannabis patient or caregiver);

o   In any correctional facility;

o   Unsecured in a private car or vehicle, where unsecured means not in a reasonably secured, sealed container and not easily accessible while moving;

o   In a private residence used as a licensed childcare or similar social service care location; or

o   On any federal property, including military bases, federal parks, or other federal buildings.


The CRTA prohibits use or consumption of cannabis in all the above locations plus:

o   Any public place; 

o   All parts of State and local government buildings or property; or

o   Close to someone under 21 years old who is not authorized as a registered medical patient.


The law does not permit anyone to smoke, vape, eat, or otherwise use cannabis in any public place.  “Public place” means any place where you could reasonably be expected to be seen by others and any place owned or leased by the State or local government, including parks or government buildings..


The Smoke Free Illinois Act prohibitions on smoking in certain locations also applies to smoking cannabis.

Finally, you cannot facilitate use or transfer cannabis by anyone not allowed to legally use cannabis.  If you are a law enforcement, correctional, or probation officer, or a firefighter, or have a school bus permit or a Commercial Driver’s License, you may not use cannabis while on duty. 



Can I give cannabis as a gift?

Yes, but be aware that:

  1. Age matters.  Possession or use by those under 21 years old is still illegal, so gifting cannabis to those under 21 is illegal, too. (410 ILCS 705/1-5(b)(2)).  It is also worth remembering that smoking near young people or children may expose them to harmful secondhand smoke.
  2. Must be gift.  “Gifting” must be purely non-commercial.  Only licensed cannabis businesses may sell cannabis. 
  3. Can’t use gifts to promote sales.  Using samples or free products to promote sales is not allowed by the CRTA. (410 ILCS 705/55-20(d)).
  4. Possession limits.  Residents can possess up to 30 grams of flower, 500 milligrams of THC-infused products, and 5 grams of concentrate unless they are a qualified cannabis medical patient.  Out of state people can only have half of those limits. (410 ILCS 705/10-10).
  5. Medical patients growing their own cannabis.  Medical cannabis patients may grow up to 5 plants, but (1) seeds may not be given or sold to any non-qualifying patient and (2) medical patients cannot give or gift away cannabis or cannabis products. (410 ILCS 705/10-5).
  6. Location of use matters.  Consuming in public is not allowed.  Be aware of smoking/vaping rules that apply to tobacco and cannabis products. (410 ILCS 705/10-35).
  7. Federal rules.  Cannabis is not permitted on federal property, including federal parks and buildings.  Gifting to someone leaving the state may result in that person violating federal and, potentially, other state laws.    

How do I safely store my cannabis?

The state has experienced a large increase in reported poisonings in children owing to edible cannabis products: from 11 such reported incidents in 2018 to 150 such incidents in 2020.  


--> Safely store your cannabis in a child-resistant container, in an area not visible and not easily accessible by children and pets.  All legal cannabis products are labeled as such and sold in child resistant containers.


--> Accidental eating of cannabis is a big risk for children and pets.   Call 911 if your child needs immediate medical attention and contact a veterinarian if your pet eats cannabis.  For non-emergency child poisonings, call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

Should I use cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding?

The THC in cannabis has been found to affect brain development and THC can pass to fetuses prior to birth and through breastmilk.   Using cannabis during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is a risk during those important stages of brain development. 

Why shouldn’t people under 21 use cannabis?

The adolescent brain—the brain for anyone from 10 up to 25 years old—can be more influenced by the THC in cannabis than adult brains.   Research has found that the growth and development of parts of the brain involved in complex behaviors and decision making, the prefrontal cortex, is particularly impacted by THC in adolescence.   Teens who regularly use cannabis might permanently harm their memory, learning ability, and attention. 

How long after consuming cannabis should I wait to drive?

If you are impaired and unable to safely drive a vehicle after consuming cannabis, you may be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted under Illinois law.   The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act does not prevent arrest and prosecution for reckless driving or driving under the influence of cannabis.   Illinois prohibits driving where THC levels of 5 nanograms in whole blood or 10 nanograms in other bodily substance are present within 2 hours of driving or in control of a vehicle. 

How long will it take me to feel the effects of cannabis?

You may feel the effects right away or, for edibles, you might not feel the effects for 30 minutes or more.   Many people won’t feel the full effect of their dose until 2-4 hours after consumption.   It all depends on your personal factors, including how frequently you consume cannabis, how you use it, and how much you take at once.   While a fatal overdose from cannabis is unlikely, too much cannabis may lead to a bad experience, poisoning, injuries, or accidents. 

Are there added risks for regular cannabis use?

Routine and high-dose cannabis use may have more health consequences than occasional or low-dose cannabis use.   Remember, some cannabis sold at Illinois dispensaries has higher amounts of THC than illegally grown and sold cannabis before legalization. 

Why should I buy from an Illinois dispensary?

Cannabis sold at legal dispensaries has been grown in Illinois under strict testing and monitoring of production.   Cannabis purchased from illegal sources does not come with the same guarantees. 

Where do all the cannabis taxes go?

Adult use cannabis taxes go into the State’s Cannabis Regulation Fund.  After paying for administrative expenses for regulating cannabis and assisting with expungement, the fund is divided into: 


+25% goes to the Restore, Reinvest, Renew (R3) program for legal aids, economic development, reentry services, violence prevention, and youth development in areas most impacted by the War on Drugs.  More information is available at


+20% goes to the Department of Human Services for substance abuse and prevention, mental health treatment, education, and other programs to benefit areas of concentrated poverty, violence, and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system for drug offenses.


+ 2% goes to the Department of Human Services for public education and research around cannabis and substance uses.


+ 8% goes to local governments to fund crime prevention programs, training, and interdiction efforts related to the illegal cannabis market and driving under the influence of cannabis.


+10% goes to the Budget Stabilization Fund.


The remaining balance, or 35%, returns to the State’s main General Revenue Fund.


Specific dollar amounts per month and by year are available from our  Learn How Cannabis Tax Dollars are Spent ( and the Department of Revenue Cannabis Regulation Fund (

This information is provided as a courtesy of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or medical advice.  Additional FAQs and information on health impacts of cannabis are available at