The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Recreational marijuana comes to Illinois

Marijuana became legal for recreational use in Illinois on Jan. 1. The new state law allows consumers 21 and older to possess and use marijuana products purchased from licensed sellers without a medical marijuana card.

Initially, medical marijuana dispensaries are the only legal sellers of cannabis for recreational use. But by mid-2020, the state is expected to grant additional licenses to dozens of new stores, processors, cultivators and transporters.

Oak Park has one medical cannabis dispenser, which is expected to begin selling recreational marijuana this year. However, the Village Board adopted a temporary moratorium until more public input can be gathered on whether or not to allow additional sites.

Under state law, Illinois adults may legally possess about an ounce of cannabis flower (30 grams), five grams of cannabis concentrate and cannabis-infused products such as edibles or tinctures with up to 500 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Out-of-state visitors are allowed to possess only half of the amounts allowed residents, but will be subject to the laws of any states they enter after leaving Illinois.

Smoking regulations…Illinois law allows adults to use recreational cannabis products in one’s own home and on-site in some cannabis-related businesses, but has several prohibitions, including the following:

  • In public places such as streets or parks
  • In any motor vehicle
  • On school grounds
  • Near someone under the age of 21
  • Near an on-duty school bus driver, police officer, firefighter or corrections officer
  • Any person, business or landlord can prohibit use on private property

Growing marijuana…Only medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow plants for personal use. The limit is five plants at a time. Recreational users are not allowed to grow marijuana at home, and could be fined up to $200 if caught violating the law.

Driving under the influence…Illinois law states that drivers with THC blood concentration of five nanograms or more are guilty of driving under the influence, regardless of whether the driver appears impaired. The Illinois State Police is leading a DUI Cannabis Task Force to examine best practices for roadside testing. The Oak Park Police Department intends to follow guidance developed by the state task force.

For more information…Contact the Oak Park Police Department at or 708.386.3800 for information about local enforcement of the state’s marijuana laws.

Related story: Marijuana use poses real health risks