Posted on

Legal weed sales start Jan. 1

It’s a new year and, for Illinois, a new era of recreational marijuana.

Weed dispensaries across the state opened their doors before sunrise Wednesday, welcoming long lines of customers – some who had been waiting since 4 a.m.

“Cheers to lighting up the start of 2020!” one dispensary, Sunnyside, wrote on its Facebook page.

Under Illinois law, anyone over 21 with a valid state ID or driver’s license can purchase recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.

Jackie Ryan, right, of Forest Park, Ill., becomes the first person in Illinois to purchase recreational marijuana as she purchases marijuana products from employee Brea Mooney left, at Sunnyside dispensary Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Chicago.

Residents may legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in products such as edibles. Non-Illinois residents in the state may possess up to only half as much as residents.

The law also includes a “social equity” plan to improve diversity in the industry by giving a leg up to minority entrepreneurs disproportionately impacted by poverty and the war on drugs. The law expunges certain drug-based criminal records and establishes a fund to provide financial resources for business start-ups, among other provisions.