We’ve enlisted Larry Mishkin, a local attorney who specializes in cannabis law in association with the Hoban Law Group based in Denver, to lay out the dos and dont’s of the new cannabis law. This information is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.

The state’s adult-use cannabis legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2020, at 6 AM, but that doesn’t mean weed will be legal in Illinois. The adult-use legislation carries an array of restrictions and limitations to navigate: users must be 21 or older, products must be purchased at a licensed dispensary, transported home in their unopened original packaging, and consumed in private homes out of sight of neighbors.

If you smoke or consume cannabis outside of those restrictions, you can still face arrest and criminal charges. To avoid confusion during the rollout (pun intended) of this new program, here are the dos and don’ts of adult-use cannabis in Illinois:


Smoke or consume cannabis in public, including: on the street, public transportation, sporting events or concerts, restaurants, cars, public spaces or buildings, and yes, even your own back porch or backyard.

Purchase from any source other than a state-licensed adult-use cannabis dispensary.

Be in possession at any one time of more than 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, or 500 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis-infused products (like edibles). For out-of-state residents the possession limits are 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 250 milligrams of cannabis-infused products.

Grow your own cannabis (unless you are an authorized medical patient).

Sell cannabis to anyone.

Provide cannabis to anyone under the age of 21 (whether for payment or for free).

Travel with cannabis on public transportation.

Travel with cannabis across state lines.

Allow cannabis/THC or any infused products you’ve purchased to be accessible to children.

Drive while smoking or consuming cannabis or while intoxicated after smoking.

Smoke or consume in your apartment without your landlord’s consent.

Smoke or consume in your condo without the condo association’s consent.

Smoke or consume in a public housing unit.

Smoke or consume on any property owned by the federal government.

Go to work while high.

Smoke or consume any cannabis or THC products if your employer maintains a zero-tolerance workplace. You can still be fired if you test “positive” for THC in an employer-mandated drug screen, regardless of whether you’re actually high at the time.

Pay for cannabis products with a check or credit card.

“Dose” another person with cannabis or THC—including edibles—without the person’s knowledge and consent.

Smoke, consume, or engage in any permitted cannabis transaction while in possession of a firearm.


Pay with cash.

Smoke or consume cannabis or THC products at home and outside of the view of your neighbors.

Share your cannabis, THC product, or infused goods free of charge with anyone older than 21. For example, you can host a dinner party of cannabis-infused food at your house for guests who are at least 21, but you can’t charge them for the cost of the cannabis, and you must advise them in advance that the food is infused.

Grow up to five cannabis plants in your home if—and only if—you’re a medical patient. Make sure the plants can’t be seen from the street or by your neighbors.

Travel with cannabis within Illinois, as long as you aren’t traveling by public transportation and/or using cannabis while in transit.

Enjoy this long-awaited opportunity to smoke or consume your favorite cannabis, THC, or infused products and appreciate just how far we’ve come as a society.   v