CHICAGO — The countdown is on for legal pot in Illinois. The state is less than one week away from allowing the sale of recreational marijuana.
In just 6 days, Wisconsin residents 21 and older will need just a photo I.D. to legally buy weed in Illinois at shops like Lakeview Sunnyside near Wrigley Field in Chicago, but where out-of-state residents will be able to consume those products remains a major question.
On New Year's Day, dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries including Lakeview Sunnyside will open their doors to a much larger customer base as the land of Lincoln begins to allow the sale of recreational pot. Chicago resident Ralph McGeary expects many of those customers will be coming from out of state.
"Especially since we are near several state borders," he said.
"We have everything from flower and vapes to edibles concentrates, pills, gels," said Cresco Labs spokesman Jason Erkes.
Jason Erkes said Cresco Labs which will have 5 dispensaries opening in Illinois next Wednesday.
"We anticipate thousands at each of the dispensaries around the state," he said.
Erkes said out-of-state residents such as Wisconsinites can legally buy half the amount of Illinois residents, up to 15 grams of pot or 250 milligrams of THC contained in edibles, but where out-of-state residents can legally get high remains a gray area.
"The law says you have to do it in your residence so I guess if they're with someone that lives here they could do it in their residence," Erkes said.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said he's much more concerned about residents bringing pot back across the border where the product becomes illegal.
"Whatever the heck you do with THC and marijuana, you come here, you operate, you possess, you're going to get arrested for it," he said.
"I guess it would probably be hard to stop that without having fairly oppressive border patrols at the borders which nobody wants," McGeary added.
Lakeview Sunnyside plans to open bright and early at 6:00 a.m. on New Years Day to accommodate the masses. Once again, out of state residents can purchase up to 15 grams of marijuana per day. Erkes said that it costs about $270.