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Madison man first of hundreds to legally purchase marijuana in Rockford

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ROCKFORD (WKOW) -- Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois Wednesday, and a Madison man was one of the first to purchase it.

Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary opened at 6:00 a.m., and Danny Conners was the first through the doors.

Conners traveled from Madison to Illinois Tuesday and showed up at Sunnyside just after midnight.

"I heard people talking about getting in line, and I jumped out the car and basically ran up there and put my chair down right next to the door," he said.

That line quickly grew, wrapping around the building -- everyone eager to make some of the first legal purchases in the state.

"I think my receipt read $120 for what I got," Conners said.

Illinoisans can buy up to 30 grams of marijuana, 500 milligrams of edibles and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. Non-residents like Conners can buy half of that -- and certainly can't take it across the state line, which is why Conners is spending Friday night in a hotel room with his new purchases.

"I consume pretty quick," he said. "I'm well aware of the laws. It all has to be good. It's like, 'Everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.'"

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says staying in Illinois to consume marijuana is the best plan.

"Wait for the effects to wear off, and then come back," he said.

Mahoney says law enforcement across Wisconsin have been talking about the new law since Illinois' governor signed it this summer.

But he says right now deputies are more concerned with issues like the opioid and heroin crises.

"To be honest, an individual who drives to Illinois, gets a small amount to take home to use in their residence or their backyard is not a huge concern to law enforcement," Mahoney said.

He says he is concerned about people driving while high and people bringing large amounts of marijuana back into Wisconsin.

Mahoney says deputies are ready.

"That is a crime that we are targeting individuals for, that we are looking for, and that we will prosecute state and federally," he said.

Wednesday's rollout at dispensaries was not without a few hiccups.

ABC affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago reports that computer problems halted sales temporarily, but the issues have since been resolved.

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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