CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced 492,129 thousand non-felony cannabis related arrest records have been expunged at the state level by the Illinois State Police.
The announcement comes four years in advance of the deadline set in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) signed into law by Pritzker in 2019.
Additionally, Pritzker on Thursday issued pardons for 9,219 low-level cannabis conviction records, for a total of mopre than 20,000 cannabis convictions pardoned since the signing of the legislation.
“Statewide, Illinoisans hold hundreds of thousands low-level cannabis-related records, a burden disproportionately shouldered by communities of color,” said Pritzker. “We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of that damage. But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past—and the decency to set a better path forward.”
The CRTA required cannabis-related arrest records created between 2013 and 2019 be expunged by Jan. 1, 2021, a total of 47,000 records. With the expungement of all 492,129 cannabis arrest records, ISP is four years ahead of the Jan. 1, 2025 statutory deadline for completing automatic expungements.
Pritzker said his administration remains committed to upholding the intention of the law and ensuring the cannabis industry is equitable for all Illinois residents. Under the law, 25% of revenues collected from recreational cannabis sales will be directed to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the justice system through the Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3) Program. In the coming weeks, the innovative R3 program will grant over $25 million in funding to organizations working in historically underserved communities across Illinois.
“The public servants of the Illinois State Police Division of Justice Services have worked diligently on the expungement process for thousands of eligible records across the state,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “We will continue to work closely with the Governor in the years ahead to implement this new law.”
For more information on the adult-use legal cannabis industry, go to https://www2.illinois.gov/cannabis/Pages/default.aspx.