Sen. Laura Ellman has reassured the people of Illinois that purchasing cannabis from a legal dispensary will not affect their ability to buy a firearm.
She said there has been some misinterpretation of the state’s new cannabis laws, which came into effect on Jan. 1, and she hopes to clear up potential concerns. Ellman, a Democrat representing the 21st district in Chicago, dismissed claims that the state will hold the names of all marijuana purchasers in a database and then use the data to withdraw firearm ID cards as “fiction”.
She said the law forbids dispensaries from collecting and storing any personal information from adult-use cannabis purchasers. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act states that “a dispensing organization shall not obtain and record personal information about a purchaser without the purchaser’s consent”.
Illinois is one of the only states that requires residents to obtain a card in order to own a firearm. The state police said that firearm owner ID cards will not be revoked “solely” for legal cannabis use, but that it “will revoke Firearm Owners ID cards where it is demonstrated that an individual is addicted to or is a habitual user of cannabis”.
As marijuana is illegal at a federal level, the government opposes anyone using it gaining access to a firearm. However, Ellman moved to reassure Illinoisans that the state will not be monitoring their cannabis purchases in order to restrict firearm access.
Legal sales officially began on Illinois on Jan. 1 and the state saw $3.2 million worth of sales on that day. A total of 77,128 people took advantage of the law change, spending an average of $41 apiece on legal weed.
Thousands braved freezing temperatures to line up outside the handful of dispensaries that opened their doors on New Year’s Day. Supply shortages are expected in the early stages of the industry, but the Illinois Economic Policy Institute estimates cannabis taxes will eventually produce $500 million in annual revenue for the state.