Cannabis Laws

Adult Recreational-Use Cannabis Becomes Legal in Illinois Jan. 1

A new state law makes it legal, subject to important limitations, for adults age 21 and older to purchase cannabis for recreational use in Illinois starting on Jan. 1, 2020. There are some important things you need to know as this change in state law becomes effective. 

Please note that the information below applies to adult recreational-use cannabis, and there are some differences for medical cannabis under the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.

Buying or selling cannabis in Wheaton continues to be prohibited. Before the law became effective, the City of Wheaton, like all Illinois municipalities, had the opportunity to decide whether the sale of cannabis would be allowed within the municipality’s limits. The Wheaton City Council voted on Oct. 7, 2019, to prohibit business establishments that sell cannabis from locating in Wheaton, so it will continue to be illegal to purchase or sell cannabis in Wheaton. 

Under the new state law, municipalities may not prohibit the use or possession of cannabis or cannabis-infused products for adults age 21 and older. However, the state law does restrict where adults can use cannabis and the amount an individual can possess at one time.

Possession Limits

 The possession limits for Illinois residents are:

  • 30 grams, or about 1 ounce of cannabis sativa plant material (marijuana)
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
  • No more than 500 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a cannabis-infused product such as gummies, candy, other consumable products and lotions, etc.

Non-Illinois residents can purchase half these amounts.

Locations Where Possession is Prohibited

Adults age 21 and older may not possess cannabis in these locations:

  • On a school bus or on preschool/primary/secondary school grounds (unless otherwise permitted for a qualifying patient or caregiver pursuant to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act)
  • In any correctional facility
  • In a vehicle that is open to the public. It must be reasonably secured and sealed in a tamper-evident container that is reasonably inaccessible while the vehicle is moving.
  • In a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises.

Locations Where Consumption is Prohibited

Adults age 21 and older may not consume cannabis:

  • On a school bus or on preschool/primary/secondary school grounds (unless otherwise permitted for a qualifying patient or caregiver pursuant to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act)
  • In any correctional facility
  • In any motor vehicle
  • In a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises.
  • In any public place 
  • In any place knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 21 years old
  • In any public place where a person could reasonably be expected to be observed by others
  • In any location where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, including hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, offices, commercial establishments, etc.

In addition, universities, colleges, and other post-secondary educational institutions may restrict or prohibit cannabis use on their property.

A “public place” is defined as any place where a person could be reasonably expected to be observed by others. This includes all parts of buildings owned in whole or in part, or leased, by the State or a unit of local government. Private residences are not included, unless a residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care or other similar social service care on the premises.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of cannabis is still illegal. Wheaton Police will continue to enforce impaired driving offenses. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be tolerated. 

Legal Purchasing Locations

Adults age 21 and older may legally purchase cannabis/cannabis-infused products only from dispensing organizations licensed by the State of Illinois. The organization must be licensed for the purpose of selling these products in accordance with the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Individuals purchasing cannabis/cannabis products must provide valid identification showing that they are 21 years of age or older.

Transporting Cannabis

If you are transporting cannabis, it must be reasonably secured and sealed in a tamper-evident container that is reasonably inaccessible while the vehicle is moving.

Growing Prohibited

Growing recreational-use cannabis in Wheaton is prohibited. Only those organizations or businesses licensed by the State of Illinois pursuant to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act may grow or cultivate cannabis and cannabis products in the areas within the City which are zoned for such cultivation.

View this video for more information regarding cannabis use in the City of Wheaton.