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Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act In May 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Act”). With the Act’s passage, Illinois became the first state legislature to pass a bill that legalized both the sale and possession of recreational marijuana. The Act passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 29th and was approved by the House by a bipartisan vote of 66-47 on Friday, May 31st. While the Act is robust, below is a highlight of important sections. Effects on Individuals The Act expands upon the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act and legalizes the recreational use, possession, consumption, purchase, and transfer of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. As is typical in other states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, there are certain limitations on the amount of cannabis an individual can possess. Social Equity Component Similar to...

On May 28, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”) and the Office of the General Counsel (the “GC”) issued a legal opinion on the status of hemp following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The opinion confirms: first, hemp must be produced under the 2014 Farm Bill until the USDA creates federal regulations or endorses a State program, and second, all hemp produced under the 2014 Farm Bill is protected by the provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. The legal opinion clarifies three major points of concern for farmers, business owners, and investors interested in the production of hemp: descheduling, legal ways to produce hemp under current law, and the interstate transport of legally produced hemp. Descheduling Most importantly, the opinion confirms hemp has been entirely removed from the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”), effective December 20, 2018. Enforcement and penalties for producing, transporting, and owning...

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