Following cannabis legalization in Illinois, these states are likely to follow suit

Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker predicts that revenue from Ilinois' legal cannabis market will top $170 million in 2020

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Following cannabis legalization in Illinois, these states are likely to follow suit

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Adults aged 21 and over will soon be able to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in Illinois, thanks to the passing of HB 1438 on Thursday, May 30. It was on this date that the Illinois House voted to legalize adult-use cannabis with a vote of 66-47.

The measure that will legalize recreational cannabis in the state from January 1, 2020, is known as the “Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.” It was initially put before lawmakers on May 7 by Illinois Senator Heather Steans and is currently awaiting a signature from Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker has said he intends on signing the cannabis legalization measure, which made Illinois go down in history as the 11th U.S. to legalize recreational cannabis use and sales. He recently revealed he has finalized a plan with lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis in Illinois starting from next year. Even nonresidents stand to benefit from the state’s cannabis laws, which enable outsiders to possess half of what Illinoisans are allowed to possess. So, who’s next to legalize recreational weed in the U.S.? Let’s take a look at some likely options.

Ohio

Ohio appears to be right on the cusp of adult-use cannabis legalization. On November 5, 2019, an initiative titled the “Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative” is expected to appear on the ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment. Medical cannabis was legalized back in 2016 when state lawmakers approved House Bill 523.

Arizona

Although Arizona didn’t manage to gain approval for the Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Proposition 205) during the November 2016 election, medical cannabis has been legal in the conservative state since 2010. More than 120 dispensaries are scattered around Arizona, which is preparing to hold a ballot initiative for cannabis legalization in 2020.

Florida

Florida’s medical cannabis patients are still finding it tricky to get their hands on medicinal cannabis, despite the fact it was legalized over two years ago. Now, pro-cannabis activists are trying to get as many signatures as they possibly can to ensure recreational cannabis is included on the 2020 ballot. Back in March, over 57,000 of a required 77,000 signatures had already been collected.

Illinois’ cannabis excise tax will accrue $170 million next year

Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker predicts that revenue from Ilinois’ legal cannabis market will top $170 million in 2020. With such promising financial foresight, nearby states are sure to take notice and consider recreational legalization.

Just like the other 10 states and Washington, D.C. that have enacted adult-use cannabis laws, an excise tax will be imposed on sales. Illinois’ economy can benefit immensely from excise tax revenue. According to the details of HB 1438, all THC-containing products with a potency of less than 35 percent must be taxed at 10 percent.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, A.K.A. ‘THC’, is the cannabis plant’s primary psychoactive cannabinoid. Products exceeding the 35 percent potency threshold will be taxed at higher rates. For example, cannabis concentrates will carry a 25 percent excise tax, since these extracted forms of cannabis may carry potencies of up to 99.9 percent. Illinois’ legal framework for legalizing recreational cannabis would also give individuals who’ve been convicted of cannabis-related offenses the opportunity to have them expunged; reports claim that this provision could wipe clean as many as 770,000 convictions.