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By Mark Gregory
Editorial Director 

Legal marijuana brings out crowds

Consumers line up four hours ahead of opening

 

Last updated 1/1/2020 at 7:40am

We already have Black Friday - the large retail shopping day the day after Thanksgiving - now add Green Wednesday to the list.

While it will not carry the annual gravitas of Black Friday, for one day, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 rivaled that day.

That is the day Illinois began to officially legalize recreational marijuana after HB 1438 was signed into law in June.

Weed connoisseur's waited in line more than four hours outside Rise dispensary, 2903 Colorado Ave. in Joliet to partake in the legal purchase of cannabis. Normal hours of operation will be 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily, but Rise opened at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 10 p.m. on Jan. 1.

"We were here at 2 a.m. and we were afraid they were going to run out," said Charlene Ford of Joliet. "If you are a real weed smoker, you have been waiting for this."

Under the new law, Illinois residents who are at least 21 years old can to purchase and possess up to 30 grams, or one ounce, of cannabis at a time.

Nonresidents can purchase up to 15 grams, but cannot legally transport products across state lines.

Marijuana may only be purchased at state-licensed dispensaries and those wishing can only partake in their own home. Those who violate such rules could be ticketed for public consumption.

A Romeoville resident, who chose not to be identified, said he waited in line to be part of history.

"It is legal today, It was in line at 4:30 a.m. and I don't have to be standing here, I work outside in the cold. I used to go to NORML rallies all over the Midwest in the 80's and a lot of people never thought this day would come. I want to be part of it. The year 2020 sounds futuristic to me and we knew it would take the future to get to this - the future is here."

 

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