Recreational marijuana will, likely, be legal as of January 1, 2020. However, that doesn’t mean new recreational retailers will be open for business.

Per the legislation recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly, medical marijuana dispensaries will be the first to begin adult-use sales in January of 2020.

The legislation states that conditional adult use dispensing organization licenses will be issued before May 1, 2020. Applications for adult use businesses will be available by October 1, 2019, and the application deadline is January 1, 2020.

So what does that mean for area residents who want to exercise their newly minted rights, and where can they find one of these dispensaries?

In Tazewell County there is one medical dispensary, nuMed in East Peoria. Across the bridge, there is one additional dispensary in Peoria, Trinity Compassionate Care. Salveo Health & Wellness in Canton would be the next closest dispensary.

All three of these facilities, per the legislation, will have the option of adding recreational sales to their existing dispensaries, at their discretion.

One dispensary declined to comment on whether recreational sales will begin in January, stating that there would be no official decision until Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law. 

The other dispensaries did not immediately return request for comment.

Gov. Pritzker has not yet signed the bill, but it would be a shocking position shift if he chose not to.

Per his website, Gov. Pritzker’s stance on marijuana legalization is simple:

“The path forward for Illinois is clear: we need to legalize marijuana.”