SPRINGFIELD — A bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois was called on the House floor this morning, triggering a call for a private caucus from Republican lawmakers.
A caucus is a standard step in the legislative process, where lawmakers discuss how they will approach floor debate on major votes.
The bill, House Bill 1438 Amendment 2, is 622 pages long and received bipartisan support in the Senate earlier this week. It requires 60 votes for passage in the House, where the private caucus is expected to last at least an hour.
The bill provides that starting Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois residents could possess up to 30 grams, or roughly one ounce, of marijuana flower, five grams of THC concentrate and five grams of THC in a marijuana-infused product.
It also authorizes the state to issue a limited number of licenses for cultivators, processors and retail dispensaries, and to charge excise taxes on the retail sale of marijuana products.
Medicinal marijuana patients would be allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants in their home.
The bill also allows for expungement through the governor’s clemency process if the case involves less than 30 grams of marijuana. For cases involving amounts greater than that, up to 500 grams, individuals and state’s attorneys would be allowed to petition a court to vacate a conviction.
House Bill 1438 has 20 co-sponsors, including two Republicans.
This story will be updated.