CannabisSPRINGFIELD – Citing safety provisions and local autonomy, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis in Illinois.

House Bill 1438 would legalize adult-use cannabis consumption for adults 21 years or older. The bill details where revenue will be allocated, product safety regulations, social equity measures and expungement procedures for convictions dealing with small amounts of cannabis.

“If you purchase cannabis from the illicit market today, there is no surefire way for you to know what you are getting,” said Gillespie. “You could get a product that is laced or diluted with something harmful. By legalizing cannabis for adult-use, we can regulate the potency and quality of the product and ensure that consumers know exactly what they are purchasing. These safety regulations will save lives.”

Under the bill, local governments have been afforded with the autonomy to decide how cannabis businesses operate in their community, or to disallow them. Local governments will be responsible for zoning ordinances, public consumption ordinances and may opt-out altogether if preferred.

“Providing local governments and employers with the autonomy to decide how to deal with the cannabis industry is important,” said Gillespie. “Employers may still have zero tolerance drug policies for their businesses and choose whether or not to allow consumption on their property.”

House Bill 1438 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and will go to the House for concurrence.