What Condo Boards Need to Know about Cannabis in Illinois
The New Cannabis Law
On June 25, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) into law. This new law makes Illinois the 11th state to legalize adult use (recreational) marijuana. This law is long (600 pages), and it covers everything from legal amounts for possession to low-interest loans for cannabis startups to providing relief for those who have arrests and convictions for minor marijuana infractions. For a summary of the provisions included in this law, click here.
How Does Marijuana Legalization Impact Condo Owners?
The CRTA does far more than simply change where residents of Illinois buy marijuana or whether they can be arrested for possessing it. Of course, it impacts laws like the criminal code. It also impacts laws that may not immediately seem like they are related to the recreational use of marijuana at all. For example, the CRTA includes a provision that adds a new section to the Condominium Act. This section states,
“The condominium instruments of an association may prohibit or limit the smoking of cannabis, as the term smoking is defined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, within a unit owner’s unit. The condominium instruments and rules and regulations shall not otherwise restrict the consumption of cannabis by any other method within a unit owner’s unit, or the limited common elements, but may restrict any form of consumption on the common elements.”
What does this mean? Basically, this new provision in the Condominium Act is saying that condo associations, while they can restrict smoking marijuana within a condo unit, cannot restrict any other legal method of use. Smoking, the legislation goes on to point out, is defined as consumption by way of “combustion.” This means methods such as edibles, topical ointments, and “vaping” cannot be restricted. Because adult recreational use of cannabis will be legal in Illinois starting in January 2020, any condo association bylaws, regulations, or rules that forbid the use of marijuana inside condo units will not comply with Illinois Law.
This law is coming fast. In fact, it’s being implemented faster than any other state that has authorized legal adult use. If all goes to plan, Illinois will be home to open and serving cannabis establishments by January 1, 2020. In short: it’s time for your condo association to call a meeting.
What Can You Do to Make Sure Your Association Doesn’t Miss the 2020 Deadline?
Take a look at your condo association bylaws. Do they already have a restriction on smoking within condo units? What about limitations on marijuana use, specifically? Depending on your condo association’s rules, regulations, bylaws, and declarations, limiting marijuana use to the fullest extent of the new law can be tricky. That’s where consulting with an experienced attorney can be a huge help. At Enterprise Esquire, we have worked for years with property owners, condo associations, and HOAs to help balance safety, peaceful enjoyment, and the law. Click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute consultation with Alexis. This consultation is completely free and can make a huge difference in getting your association toward compliance before the January 1, 2020 deadline.