By Graeme Massie / Independent

The governor of Illinois has expunged nearly 500,000 criminal records related to cannabis in the state.

JB Pritzker cleared the state's no felony marijuana cases, along with 9,219 low-level cannabis convictions to begin in 2021.

The Democratic politician signed legislation in 2019 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Illinois, which began last year.

That allowed nearly 770,000 state residents to eliminate marijuana-related crimes, causing a criminal conviction record to be destroyed or sealed from state or federal records.

The governor had said it could take four years to work the cases, but announced that nearly 500,000 had been ruled out by 2021.