Illinois’ New Marijuana Legislation: Notable Provisions and Important Considerations


On June 25, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB 1438, otherwise known as the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”), a bill legalizing the recreational use and purchase of marijuana in Illinois. Starting January 1, 2020, adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries throughout Illinois. With the passage of the Act, Illinois joins Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington as the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Illinois employers are not prohibited from adopting reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies. The Act does not prohibit policies regarding drug testing or the use of drugs, including marijuana, in the workplace or when an employee is on call, as long as the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner. The Act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate marijuana use while on the job or to permit intoxication at work. Furthermore, nothing in the Act prevents an employer from disciplining or terminating an employee for violating the employer’s employment policies, including the employer’s drug policy.

Click here for a detailed summary of notable provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and important considerations for Illinois employers.

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