Illinois Production and Possession of Cannabis Plant

The Law – 720 ILCS 550/8

It is unlawful for any person knowingly to produce the Cannabis Sativa plant or to possess such plants unless the production or possession has been authorized pursuant to Illinois law.

Illinois prohibits the possession or production of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is the plant that produces marijuana. The state bears the burden of proving that the individual in possession of the plant knew that the plant was indeed Cannabis Sativa. Thus, if it can be shown that the individual who was in possession of the plant did not know that the plant was Cannabis Sativa, the person cannot be convicted of the crime. Although many legal products, such as hemp, derive from the Cannabis Sativa plant, its possession is still unlawful. Therefore, even if the possessor of the plant intended to use it for any reason other than for the cultivation of marijuana, the possessor can still be charged and convicted of the crime.

Some entities are authorized to produce or possess the Cannabis Sativa plant. However, these entities are generally involved in scientific or medical research. Additionally, these entities must receive authorization from the Illinois Department of Human Services and from the Illinois State Police before they can possess or produce the Cannabis Sativa plant.

The Sentence

Number of Plants

Sentence

Prison Term

Maximum Fine

Up to 5 plants

Class A Misdemeanor

Up to 364 days in county jail

Up to $2,500

6 to 20 plants

Class 4 Felony

1 to 3 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

21 to 50 plants

Class 3 Felony

2 to 5 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

51 to 200 plants

Class 2 Felony

3 to 7 years in state prison

Up to $100,000 plus costs of investigation and eradication of the plants

201 or more plants

Class 1 Felony

4 to 15 years in state prison

Up to $100,000 plus costs of investigation and eradication of the plants

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – Yes.

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