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More ideas about how to regulate recreational marijuana could surface this week, but one lawmaker wants to make sure the legislature doesn't over-regulate the industry or consumers.
Regulation ideas for Illinois have included allowing local control over cannabis sales, allowing adults to grow five plants at home, and even limiting how much one consumer can possess to one ounce.
Chris Stone with medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternatives in Springfield and Collinsville said if such limits are implemented there are already systems in place to help with compliance.
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“We’re going to have a tracking system that’s going to make sure that whatever the limit is that you can’t go to 18 dispensaries and get the same amount of product, unlike most of the other states that are out there,” Stone said. “So, they’ve created a backend software and computer system that is going to be able to allow for that.”
Stone said couldn’t address the privacy concerns of possibly tracking consumer’s recreational habits, but said right now HIPPA laws protect medical patients’ information.
State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, said whatever ultimately passes should be similar to how tobacco and alcohol are treated.
“And we align those provisions to those current industries that were prohibited at one point but are now legal,” Ammons said. “So I think we are going to do ourselves a disservice by trying to police the cannabis bill in a way that will still create unintended consequences.”
Ammons put forward House Bill 902, which has less stringent government regulation compared with other suggestions that have been floated. Her bill would allow adults to grow up to 24 cannabis plants and to possess up to 224 grams, or nearly 8 ounces, outside of the home.
Ammons said her bill would apply a 10 percent tax on sales and require that at least 51 percent of the licenses for retail stores to be in “communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.” That bill could be heard in committee Tuesday. A Senate bill about cannabis, but without any provisions filed, is slated for a Senate hearing Wednesday.