Jun 4

Even though the State of Illinois legalized cannabis for recreational use, strict regulations remain in place concerning the distribution or possession of cannabis. More specifically, Illinois requires possession or distribution of cannabis to occur in accordance with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act or the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and the Industrial Hemp Act. Any person who violates these regulations can face charges for the unlawful possession or distribution of cannabis. 

Unlawful Possession of Cannabis

720 ILCS 550/4 establishes the Illinois boundaries for unlawful possession of cannabis. Outside of established medical and recreational exceptions, it is still a criminal offense to possess cannabis.

Any person who possesses cannabis outside of established regulations can face charges for unlawful possession under Section 4. The penalty for this offense changes based on the amount of cannabis in question, as explained below:

  • Unlawful possession of 10 grams or less — Is a civil offense with a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $200; 
  • Unlawful possession of 10-30 grams — Is a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1,500 and the potential of a six-month jail sentence;
  • Unlawful possession of 30-100 grams — Is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,500 and the potential of a 364-day jail sentence;
  • Unlawful possession of 100-500 grams — Is a Class 4 felony with a maximum fine of $25,000 and the potential of a prison sentence between one and three years;
  • Unlawful possession of 500-2,000 grams — Is a Class 3 felony with a maximum fine of $25,000 and the potential of a prison sentence between two and five years;
  • Unlawful possession of 2,000-5,000 grams — Is a Class 2 felony with a maximum fine of $25,000 and the potential of a prison sentence between three and seven years; or
  • Unlawful possession of more than 5,000 grams — Is a Class 1 felony with a maximum fine of $25,000 and the potential of a prison sentence between four and 15 years.

Unlawful Distribution of Cannabis

720 ILCS 550/5 furnishes the Illinois rules against distribution of cannabis. Unless otherwise authorized by law, it is largely illegal in Illinois to distribute or manufacture cannabis. It is also unlawful to possess cannabis with the intent to distribute or manufacture. 

Any person who distributes cannabis outside of established regulations can face criminal charges under Section 5. For example, unlawful distribution or possession with intent to distribute of:

  • No more than 2.5 grams — Results in Class B misdemeanor charges;
  • Between 2.5 and 10 grams — Results in Class A misdemeanor charges;
  • Between 10 and 30 grams — Results in Class 4 felony charges;
  • Between 30 and 500 grams — Results in Class 4 felony charges, including a maximum fine of $50,000;
  • Between 500 and 2,000 grams — Results in Class 2 felony charges, including a maximum fine of $100,000;
  • Between 2,000 and 5,000 grams — Results in Class 1 felony charges, including a maximum fine of $150,000; or
  • More than 5,000 grams — Results in Class X felony charges, including a maximum fine of $200,000. 

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.