New Year Will Bring Legal Marijuana to Illinois Residents


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:47 p.m. ET

Currently, marijuana products are top-rated among Americans. Even though illegal at a federal level, some state laws allow the use of medical and recreational cannabis in the US. In 2020, Illinois residents have something to rejoice about. Illinois passed a law to allow recreational marijuana in May 2019. Marijuana in the state will be legalized on January 1, 2020. Let’s see how the residents are gearing up for it.

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Illinois excited for marijuana products on New Years

Well, the New Year brings good news for Illinois. The state will see recreational marijuana products for sale on January 1. Per a National Post article, on the first day of 2020, people 21 and older will be able to buy the following producers through licensed retailers:

  • Up to 30 grams of marijuana flower legally.
  • 5 grams of marijuana concentrate.
  • 500 grams of THC-infused products, such as edibles.

Also, the Post stated how various retailers in Chicago are gearing up with exclusive deals and offers and systems to organize the sale of marijuana products.

Illinois could generate new tax revenue

Tax revenues and employment creation have been the main objectives of legalization in the US states. Many states that have already allowed cannabis are enjoying tax revenues. Plus, job growth numbers have improved.

Illinois’ revenue department expects to earn $57 million in new tax and fee revenue in fiscal 2020. Furthermore, state governor J. B. Pritzker believes legalization could bring in $800 million—$1 billion in tax revenue each year. To know more about this, take a look at How Much Tax Will Illinois Collect from Legalized Marijuana?

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On New Years, Illinois will become the 11th state to allow recreational marijuana in the US. Earlier, ten states and the District of Colombia allowed adult-use cannabis. Plus, Illinois can also be called the first state whose state legislature took action about legalization. In other states, it was the voter’s approach and initiatives that made it happen. Also, medical marijuana became legal in the state in 2014.

Did Illinois face opposition to marijuana legalization?

It is no surprise that cannabis legalization faces doubts and opposition in the US. Particularly, Republicans do not usually favor legalization. Many red states like Texas face heavy scrutiny when it comes to using marijuana.

Such is the case in Illinois as well. Even though cannabis is now legal, many still oppose it. The National Post article talked about Illinois Family Institute executive director David Smith who opposed the legislation. He feels marijuana is a high-potent product that causes various health issues, and he believes legalizing it sends a wrong message to youth.

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Also, many are concerned that, owing to health effects caused by the high dosage of marijuana, it could cause problems. An article in the Chicago Tribune said that Illinois retailers and dispensaries must post the following sign: “Cannabis consumption can impair cognition and driving, is for adult-use only, may be habit-forming, and should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.”

The article discusses studies that have shown marijuana to cause paranoia and delusions. Also, it is seen to affect learning, memory, movement, and judgment.

Will Illinois’s legalization push other states to take action?

Many industry experts feel Illinois law could give a push to other states, too, who have been struggling to take action. Recently, recreational marijuana sales went live in Michigan, which legalized it in 2018. However, the regulation and licensing process caused some delays. Read Recreational Marijuana Sales Go Live in Michigan to know more.

Furthermore, voters in Virginia support legalization. A poll survey showed 61% want recreational marijuana to be legal in the state. Read Marijuana Legalization: Can Virginia Expect it in 2020? to know what’s happening in Virginia. Also, Utah is working to kick-start its medical marijuana program by March 2020. Read Marijuana Legalization: What’s Happening in Utah?

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Other states consider loosening their cannabis laws

Meanwhile, Maryland is working on launching marijuana edibles as a part of its medical cannabis program. Note that edibles are recreational products. However, many prefer the edible form of marijuana compared to smoking and vaping. Hence, Maryland is proposing it as part of medical cannabis.

In other news, Missouri employers seem to be worried about Illinois legalization. Employers think employees will go to Illinois and consume cannabis and fail their drug tests. However, this will lead to losing out on good employees. Many companies do not want to be strict with cannabis rules at work as unemployment is low in the state.

Talking about it, Mitch Meyers, CEO of BeLeaf, said, “Right now, unemployment is very low. If people are trying to hire workers and someone wants to enjoy cannabis, but gets tested and fails a drug test, those companies are going to struggle to find the best employees.”

How is the New Year looking for cannabis stocks?

Cannabis stock struggled in 2019. The major Canadian players Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED), Cronos (CRON), Hexo (HEXO), and Aphria (APHA) lost most of their stock value this year. To know what happened, read Cannabis Sector 2019 Review and 2020 Outlook.

However, many feel 2020 could be a lucky charm for the sector. Raymond James analysts feel that with lenient cannabis laws in Ontario, cannabis companies can look forward to better prospects. Also, Manitoba will see cannabis edibles products in the market before the New Year.

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Note that Canada is working on opening up more legal stores to deal with illegal marijuana market concerns. Also, it will improve legal cannabis sales, thus boosting cannabis companies’ revenues and profits. Federal legalization prevents many Canadian companies from starting a business in the US. However, many have joined up with US companies to launch their edibles and beverage products in states where it is allowed.

Small US marijuana companies may be the best investment

There are many smaller cannabis companies in the US as well, such as KushCo Holdings (KSHB) and Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF). Additionally, Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR), a REIT-marijuana company, performed well this year.

Investors choosing to invest in marijuana stocks should consider these smaller companies. If you want to know how to invest in pot stocks, take a look at Cannabis Investment: How to Buy ACB, CGC, and Others.

In December, Hexo lost 9.2%. Aurora stock and Canopy stock (CGC) lost 20.4% and 7.3%, respectively, this month. Cronos stock (CRON) and Aphria stock declined by 4.2% and 5.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ) fell 3.3% in December.

Check out 420 Investor Daily to stay updated with cannabis news.


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