On May 31, 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to pass the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”). The Cannabis Act, which was approved by the Illinois Senate two days earlier and is expected to be signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, will legalize recreational cannabis in Illinois by adults 21 and over starting on January 1, 2020. Once the Cannabis Act is signed by the Governor, Illinois will become the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis.
Note: cannabis consumption remains illegal under Federal law (cannabis is classified as a “schedule 1” drug), but the Cannabis Act does away with penalties under Illinois State law for possession (up to 30 grams for Illinois residents and up to 15 grams for non-residents) and consumption of recreational cannabis.
The Cannabis Act also poses changes to several existing Illinois statutes, including the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condominium Act”). In particular, the Cannabis Act will add the following new Section 33 to the Condominium Act:
“Sec. 33. Limitations on the use of smoking cannabis. 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.”
The Cannabis Act defines “smoking” as “the inhalation of smoke caused by the combustion of cannabis.” As such, condominium instruments may restrict the “smoking” of cannabis, but not consumption by other means. As such, condominium boards will need to consider whether to adopt restrictions regarding the “smoking” of cannabis in condominium associations. Unfortunately, the Common Interest Community Association Act is not among the existing statutes that are changed by the Cannabis Act to give community associations a statutory basis to restrict the smoking of cannabis.
As always, LP is ready and available to assist in drafting, adopting, and enforcing restrictions on the “smoking” of cannabis and providing guidance to boards regarding to this or any new legislation affecting your association.