COLLINSVILLE, Il. (KMOV.com) -- On New Year's Day, people 21 and over were able to begin purchasing marijuana legally in Illinois.

The only dispensary in the St. Louis metro area where people can purchase cannabis is located in Collinsville.

“The first few months of the year there's going to be longer lines, longer wait times,” said Chris McCloud, spokesman for HCI Alternatives.

[Read: What you need to know ahead of recreational marijuana legalization in Illinois]

It will be illegal to bring cannabis purchased in Illinois back to Missouri, and McCloud said dispensaries will work to educate customers, but it’s up to buys to know the law.

"Just as if you were going to a liquor store to buy alcohol, you have to be responsible with it,” he said. “This is no different, you have to be responsible and adhere to the law in terms of where you can consume it and how you transport it once you leave the dispensary."

Police trained for the new laws, and said they will be vigilant, especially when it comes to driving under the influence.

"Our biggest concern I guess is going to be the impaired driving or potential increase in impaired driving,” said Captain Bruce Fleshren with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. ”We don't have the roadside testing that we do for alcohol so the results are going to be a little longer for us to make an official arrest once those results come back.”

He said every department has gone through training and is confident in their process.

He also advised people to treat marijuana like alcohol.

"You can't have open alcohol in the car. You cannot be using cannabis in the car. It cannot be accessible in the vehicle either. It's literally for in your home for your private consumption,” Fleshren said.

There are currently devices being rolled out similar to a breathalyzer test, but it will be awhile before anything gets implemented statewide.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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