The court heard two consolidated cases of individuals who were in vehicles that were searched after an officer used the smell of cannabis as probable cause. Lawyers argued the smell of cannabis alone should not be probable cause to search a vehicle given that the substance is no longer illegal in Illinois.
Case tests language of 2020 legalization law
Since the beginning of 2023, Cook County Jail administration has reported 16 deaths in custody, with five attributed to overdoses, according to Cook County Medical Examiner records. To address the uptick in overdose deaths, jail leadership took unprecedented measures, including what some called a facility-wide paper ban.
Products made from delta-8 promise to deliver a milder marijuana-like high. But unlike marijuana, which is strictly regulated and can only be sold in licensed dispensaries, delta-8 can be sold in convenience stores and cafes, and there are no age minimums for purchase.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the latest timeline and application process for obtaining a cannabis dispensary license.
Workers at high-profile companies like Amazon and Starbucks have unionized, as have employees at smaller chains and locally-owned firms. Chicago workers have also been part of the wave. Here’s a look at some of the big developments over the past year.
The lag time for shops to open raises the question of whether Illinois has followed through on its pledge to use legal marijuana to lift communities and people who were previously punished by anti-cannabis laws.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx believes the federal pardons send a message across the country, “... that we need to move towards decriminalization and ultimately vacating convictions like we have done here in Illinois”
President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color.
Illinois was supposed to be the national model when government leaders pledged they’d use the 2020 legalization of marijuana to right the wrongs of the war on drugs that disproportionately harmed Black and Latino communities. Nearly three years later, those poised to benefit say they’re still stymied.
Three local organizations are banding together in an effort to bring more equity to the Illinois marijuana industry.
The survey found that 11% of young adults reported using marijuana on a daily basis in 2021 and 43% had used it in the past year. About 8% of young adults reported using substances such as LSD, PCP and psychedelic mushrooms in the past year, up from just 3% in 2011.
According to the state, of the business selected for the cannabis licenses, 41% are majority Black owned, 7% are majority White owned, 4% are majority Latino owned and 38% did not disclose the owner’s race.
A new business venture from a co-founder of a Chicago weed giant fizzles. The company that gave up the Water Tower Place is now selling it’s big property across the street. And there’s some good news for landlords trying to fill suburban office spaces.
The state has awarded 48 cultivation licenses to craft cannabis growers, and 100% of the licenses are going to social equity winners — folks who were most impacted by the nation’s so-called war on drugs.
Chicago-area retail stores hit record-high sales, but that's not without impacting online buying as Amazon looks to sublet warehouse space. Meanwhile, legal limbo over nearly 200 pot shop licenses could soon come to an end.
Nearly two-and-a-half years after recreational cannabis became legal to sell in Illinois, state Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) says Illinois has failed to live up to the promise of the law.