Marijuana edibles spurring rise in pot-related overdose calls to Illinois Poison Center


Marijuana edibles are becoming increasingly popular, but doctors warn the substances are prone to accidental consumption or may pack too much of a wallop for new users.

Newly released numbers show marijuana overdose-related calls in Illinois jumped significantly after legalization, mainly due to edibles — but remained far below the number of calls for other legal drugs, including alcohol.

The number of calls to the Illinois Poison Center for cannabis rose from 487 in 2019, to 743 in 2020, the year recreational weed was legalized in the state, and increased again to 855 in 2021.

Many of the calls were for consumption of edibles, officials said. Edible cases more than tripled from 80 cases in 2019 to 450 in 2021.


Recreational marijuana dispensary eyes spring opening in Round Lake Beach


The first recreational cannabis dispensary in Round Lake Beach is planned to open in the spring, after approval this week by village officials.

VISE Partners LLC received a special-use permit to open a shop called Altius in a former mattress store and original Blockbuster location at 993 E. Rollins Road, an outlot in the Rollins Crossing shopping center just east of Route 83.


Illinois cannabis applicants fighting injunction against new licenses

cbd bottles

Cannabis license applicants and Illinois officials are scrambling to change a court order after a judge prohibited the state from issuing up to 60 new craft grower licenses that were due out by Dec. 21.

Cook County Judge Neil Cohen issued an injunction Nov. 22, preventing the Department of Agriculture from issuing the licenses “until further order of the court.”

The order follows a similar order from Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius preventing the awarding of 185 new marijuana retail store licenses until litigation over some of the licenses is resolved — which could take months or years.


DuPage County Board revisiting ban on recreational pot sales in unincorporated areas


As marijuana businesses find growing acceptance in the suburbs, DuPage County Board members are considering whether to lift a ban on retail pot stores in unincorporated areas.

County board member Liz Chaplin said more and more towns that had previously rejected recreational sales have since voted to allow shops within their borders. She's called on the county board to revisit the issue.


Illinois’ weed tax windfall tops $560 million. Here’s where the money goes.


The state’s collections since early 2020 now outpace that raised from booze sales. The money has been used on everything from buying an opioid reversal drug to funding a Girl Scouts program to fight human trafficking.

First-time recreational cannabis buyers often feel the sticker shock.

With hefty taxes, an eighth of an ounce of fresh cannabis flower typically costs around $80 — far more than the price of black market weed.

But sales have continued to boom despite the sky-high taxes and prices, totaling over $1.9 billion since the drug was fully legalized last January. As a result, total tax collections on pot sales have now jumped to nearly $563 million. And since February, pot sales have brought in a whooping $100 million more in taxes than booze.


Local lawyer will fight for Whiteside Co. judge’s ruling on ‘cannabis odor’ in IL vehicles if overturned

cop car

Attorney James Mertes will keep fighting at the appellate level if the ruling is appealed. He represented a local man arrested for possessing 2.6 grams of cannabis.

It's a potential historic ruling that resulted from a simple traffic stop. 

Local attorney James Mertes knows it has the chance to be overturned, but he plans to keep on fighting the idea that the smell of marijuana isn’t reason enough to conduct an unwarranted search of a car in Illinois alone.

“Ultimately this case is at the forefront of reshaping the law,” says Mertes.


First cannabis testing lab company to expand into Illinois

woman scientist

On Thursday, Steep Hill, the United States' first commercial cannabis testing lab, announced it was expanding into Illinois with a new licensee partner. Illinois was the 11th state to legalize an adult-use cannabis program (in 2019) and the first to legalize adult-use by an act of state legislature, along with the medical program established in 2014. 


Smell of Marijuana no longer probable cause for Illinois car searches

man smoking joint

Now in Illinois the smell of marijuana does not give probable cause for officers to do a warrantless search during traffic stops.

On Friday Whiteside County court Judge Daniel P. Dalton made the ruling.

Local law enforcement officials say this could cause issues when officers try to stop people who have recently smoked the drug.

“In Illinois, you can transport legally cannabis as long as it's on odorless container well that right there on its face means that you shouldn’t be able to smell it,” said Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell.

He said this will only create more problems for law enforcement trying to stop those driving while impaired.


Illinois cannabis growers advised to follow craft beer model and specialize

cannabis plants in white background

Like craft brewers, craft cannabis growers can’t compete in size or price with established businesses in their industry, so they’d better stand out with unique products and strong partnerships.

That was the advice that established dispensary pros dished out at a recent gathering of newly licensed entrepreneurs. With startup businesses aiming to create higher-quality specialty products, the resulting industry should be more diverse, both in ownership and in the variety of products for consumers.


County Board amends cannabis dispensary rules

signing documents

Kankakee County Board members debated modifying the county’s zoning requirements for cannabis dispensaries before approving an amendment that would allow the facilities to apply to locate in the county’s agricultural zones.

The text approved Tuesday amends County Code Sections 121-99 and 121-209 with new wording that allows dispensaries to be placed closer to surrounding businesses and operate outside and run drive-thrus in extraordinary circumstances, in addition to existing in agricultural zones.

Board Chairman Andy Wheeler said the suggested changes were dictated by the market.


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