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Cannabis Tourism in Illinois

Starved rock IL

Reviewed by Jennifer Cech Vaisnoras, Vice President of Global Compliance

Whether you’re traveling to a dispensary from a remote part of the state or crossing the border from one of Illinois’s neighbors, cannabis tourism is alive and well in Illinois. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about marijuana tourism, including: 

  • What Is 420 Tourism In Illinois?
  • What Do I Need To Bring To The Dispensary In Illinois?
  • Does Illinois Have 420-Friendly Places To Stay?
  • What Cannabis Tours & Events Are There In Illinois?
  • FAQs About Cannabis Tourism in Illinois
     

What Is 420 Tourism in Illinois?

“420 tourism” is a phrase that describes people who travel, typically across state lines from a state where recreational cannabis isn’t legal, to consume cannabis in a state where it is legal. 

“Cannabis tourism has really taken off in Illinois, and it continues to grow across the state,” says Jennifer Cech Vaisnoras, vice president of global compliance at PharmaCann. “Both in-state residents and out-of-state visitors have the opportunity to visit a recreational dispensary in Illinois, but it’s important to understand the rules and regulations when it comes to purchase, possession and consumption.” 

420 tourism can also refer to people who travel to visit a dispensary from other remote parts of the state. For example, some people in more remote places in Illinois may make a trip to Chicago, Galena, Starved Rock, or Rosemont to attend cannabis-focused events or visit a state-licensed dispensary. 
 

What Do I Need To Bring To The Dispensary In Illinois?

Illinois makes it easy for both residents and non-residents who are 21 or older to make adult-use marijuana purchases from state-licensed dispensaries. Simply bring your government-issued photo ID with you and some cash. Out of state medical cards and non-government-issued IDs are not accepted. 

If you prefer not to carry cash, most dispensaries have an ATM in the store or can point you to one that’s close. This way, you can get the amount you need to make a purchase when you need it. Remember, while dispensaries have their own price points for their products, Illinois has a hefty sales tax on cannabis products, so you’ll need to account for that when budgeting for your marijuana. 
 

What Do I Need to Know Before Visiting an Illinois Dispensary? 

The number one item to bring with you if you’re visiting a recreational dispensary in Illinois is a valid, government-issued photo ID. If you do not have this, dispensary staff cannot let you into the building. Once you have that, there are a few more things to consider.

“Illinois’s cannabis program is unique in that residents and visitors have different daily purchase limits,” notes Cech Vaisnoras. “Non-residents will only be able to purchase half the amount of product than Illinois residents from a state-licensed dispensary.”

If you’re an Illinois resident visiting another part of the Prairie State, you are allowed to have:

  • Up to 30 grams of flower
  • Up to 500 milligrams of THC of cannabis-infused products
  • Up to 5 grams of concentrates

However, if you are a Illinois visitor, you are only allowed to have:

  • Up to 15 grams of flower
  • Up to 250 milligrams of THC in any infused products
  • Up to 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrates

As you’re heading out of the dispensary with your purchases, remember to follow the rules!

  • Do not consume or display cannabis in public places. 
  • Check with your lodging or accommodations regarding whether or not you can have or use cannabis on the premises. (And don’t be surprised if they say no!)
  • You cannot cross state lines with your cannabis products, even if your destination is also an adult-use state.
  • You can’t mail marijuana. 
  • Your products must remain sealed.
     

Does Illinois Have 420-Friendly Places to Stay?

Illinois does have 420-friendly places to stay. In Illinois, public consumption of marijuana is prohibited, which means that you must be on privately owned property in order to consume cannabis. The Aldrich Guest House is the first and, currently, the only bed and breakfast that caters to cannabis enthusiasts by providing a place for their guests to enjoy marijuana. This doesn’t come without rules, though. Consumption through combustion, meaning if you “light” your marijuana, it’s illegal indoors due to the Smoke Free Illinois Act that forbids indoor smoking in public space throughout the state. Instead, the Aldrich Guest House encourages smoking outside for both marijuana and tobacco products.
 

What Cannabis Tours & Events Are There in Illinois?

There are plenty of cannabis tours and events in Illinois. The largest variety of these types of excursions happen in Chicago. If you’re interested in this type of tourism, you’ll need to decide what you most want to do (or pick everything). There are cannabis-infused restaurants owned by culinary celebrities, as well as cannabis bus tours complete with dispensary stops along the way. There are dessert shops that cater to cannabis enthusiasts and even a cafe where you can enjoy things like pizza-infused products. Prefer the nightlife? There are cannabis clubs and speakeasies around the Chicago area just waiting for you to step inside. 
 

Answering FAQs About Cannabis Tourism in Illinois

With questions frequently being asked about cannabis tourism in the state of Illinois, we decided to compile a list of both questions and provide answers from Cech Vaisnoras to make it easy to find information on this topic: 

What is the sales tax on cannabis products in Illinois?
Both Illinois residents and visitors over the age of 21 can expect to pay the following taxes based on the amount of THC and the type of product:

  • 10% sales tax - cannabis flower and products with less than 35% THC
  • 20% sales tax - cannabis-infused products like edibles
  • 25% sales tax - products with more than 35% THC

These amounts are in addition to local state, county, and municipal taxes applied at the dispensary.
 

What are the marijuana possession limits in Illinois?
Marijuana possession limits in Illinois are the same as purchase limits for both residents and non-residents over the age of 21:

Illinois residents may possess:

  • Up to 30 grams of flower
  • Up to 500 milligrams of THC in any infused products
  • Up to 5 grams of concentrates

Illinois non-residents may posses:

  • Up to 15 grams of flower
  • Up to 250 milligrams of THC in any infused products
  • Up to 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrates
     

Can I take cannabis home with me?
If you live in Illinois, you are welcome to bring your cannabis home with you. If you need to cross state lines in order to get home, you cannot take cannabis with you.
 
Where can I consume cannabis in Illinois?
If you live with or are staying with friends or family in Illinois, you can consume cannabis in a private residence. Otherwise you will need to check with your hotel, campground, motel, etc. regarding their cannabis policies.

While there is no legal form of public consumption in Illinois, there are places like the Aldrich Guest House that allow cannabis consumption, though they have strict rules around what can be consumed and how it can be consumed. For example, you cannot consume cannabis through combustion in public places. 
 

Becoming a Cannabis Tourist in Illinois

If you’re traveling to visit a dispensary in Illinois, whether you’re in state or out of state, it’s important to familiarize yourself with marijuana laws. Then, it’s all about enjoying yourself responsibly. Be sure to visit our marijuana dispensaries in Illinois to get the products you need when you’re here.


About Jennifer Cech Vaisnoras
Jennifer Cech Vaisnoras is the vice president of global compliance at PharmaCann, Inc. where she leads the cannabis company’s national team of legal compliance professionals. She earned her JD from Northern Illinois University College of Law and her BA in Communications from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. Cech Vaisnoras has been practicing law for the past 14 years and has committed the past 5 years of her career to educating people about the responsible use of medical and recreational cannabis. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband and daughter and is expecting her second child.
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Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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