Legal Marijuana in Illinois: Housing and the Law

Illinois has become the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Come January 1st, 2020, all existing medical dispensaries will be able to sell to adults over the age of 21. While rules for the use of marijuana have been loosely set for the state of Illinois as a whole, local governments will be rolling out more rules regarding the zoning and businesses that deal with the sales or production of marijuana and marijuana-derived products. 

These new laws will have a MAJOR impact on the housing industry in Illinois, and we want to ensure our clients are empowered with the facts.  If you have any questions about how these laws will affect you as a tenant, homeowner, landlord, or in any other capacity as it relates to housing- contact us anytime!



Here’s what we know as of now:


Illinois residents the age of 21+ can purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.




These are the limits relating to possession and purchase:

– 30 grams of cannabis flower
– Five grams of cannabis concentrate
No more than 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products
– Possession limits for non-Illinois residents are half that of residents


Medical marijuana license holders can grow marijuana plants in their homes. These are the limits and rules:

– Maximum of five plants that are five inches or taller.
– Plants must be enclosed in a secure location.


For Chicago residents, you can’t consume cannabis in/on:

– Motor vehicles
– CTA property (including buses and trains)
– School grounds
– Restaurants or bars
– Any public place (any place where a person can reasonably be expected to be observed by others), such as: streets, sidewalks, parks and playgrounds, front porches, etc.



Landlords are allowed to specify whether or not cannabis-related activities are allowed in their buildings. Please note:

– For medical marijuana patients enforcing a cannabis ban is more of a gray area. 
– Be sure to consult with your attorney if you receive a “reasonable accommodation request” for use or growing cannabis from a tenant with a medical marijuana license. 
– Rules regarding smoking are standard for most leases, so be sure to clarify or create an addendum regarding what the rules are for marijuana to avoid complaints or misunderstandings with your tenants.


Types of licenses that will be issued:

Dispensary License: For sale of cannabis products to consumers.
Infuser License: For production of cannabis-infused items (i.e. edibles and tinctures with cannabis extract).
Transporter License: For businesses supporting the transport of cannabis and cannabis products between business licensees.
Craft Grower License: For cannabis plant cultivators that grow between 5,000 and 14,000 square feet of canopy space. This license can be attained along with a separate license as an infuser or a dispensary at the same facility.
Cultivation Center License: For cannabis plant cultivators that plan to grow up to 210,000 square feet of canopy space.


Here are some recommendations and tips to make this transition easier for everyone:

– If you don’t already have rules for the use of marijuana or smoking in your building, be sure to create an addendum and have all your tenants sign it. 
– Utilize signage and email reminders, especially if you are having a hard time enforcing rules.
– Be extra mindful of enforcing rules regarding marijuana use in buildings with children and families.



Final Thoughts

Be sure to check in with your local law enforcement entities because they’ll be the main source of updates. We’ll be updating you periodically as well, so subscribe to our email list for periodic updates of marijuana laws specifically for real estate professionals in Illinois!