Illinois lawmakers approved the state’s recreational marijuana law earlier this year. But a leading national advocate is already calling for additional changes.
The Marijuana Policy Project called Illinois’ passage the top legislative win in the country in 2019. The national group says Illinois led the way because it’s the first state where the legislature adopted the law. The others have all come through voter initiatives and not all states allow that process. Illinois is the 11th state to approve recreational use.
Despite the praise for Illinois lawmakers, O'Keefe said they left out a couple of key provisions.
“Two of the things we were hoping to see that weren’t are home delivery and home cultivation," O'Keefe said. "For everything else, people are used to buying things from Amazon and having even prescription medication delivered to your door. But with cannabis, that’s not included in the law.”
Under the new law, only Illinois medical marijuana patients would be allowed to grow a small number of plants at home.
Many Illinois communities are debating whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales. The new state law that takes effect in January gives local governments the final say on where dispensaries can set up shop.
O'Keefe said those who live in towns where sales will be prohibited are at a disadvantage.
“So people just like the discretion of having it delivered to their home and it also saves time and energy, especially if some cities ban marijuana stores," she added.
O’Keefe says she expects the General Assembly will re-consider home delivery and home cultivation at some point. Illinois' law allowing recreational use takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.