Cannabis plant.

Legal weed testing: What Sun-Times tests found, plus flaws in Illinois’ cannabis regulation

What’s in the legal weed being sold at Illinois dispensaries? That’s what our reporters wanted to find out. That led to a deeper look at the state’s marijuana regulation.

In January 2020, recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Illinois. Since then, $1.9 billion worth of weed has been sold.

Yet, despite some of the strictest testing standards for cannabis in the nation, Illinois consumers still can’t be certain that the heavily taxed legal weed they buy from state-licensed dispensaries is free from excessive levels of contaminants such as mold, yeast and bacteria, testing commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times found.

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If you like reading these stories or have suggestions for further reporting, we’d like to hear from you. Please contact cannabis reporter Tom Schuba at or consumer watchdog reporter Stephanie Zimmermann at

6 Total Updates Since
December 10, 2021 11:56 AM