Watch CBS News

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Brace Themselves For Recreational Pot Purchasers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Recreational pot isn't legal for two more days.

But already there are lines outside a marijuana dispensary in Chicago.

CBS 2's Vince Gerasole on what's behind the last second push for pot.

There are already lines of medical marijuana patients trying to beat the rush for when recreational sales begin. There are several things you need to expect if planning to buy legal weed.

There's a flurry of activity inside Lakeview's Sunnyside, which remains a strictly medical dispensary until Wednesday.

"Right now, we have a lot of patients in there trying to stock up and get their medicine," said Jason Erkes of Cresco Labs.

At no nonsense-looking counters that could almost pass for stations at a DMV, only a limited number of buyers are let in at a time. Trained staff then guide consumers through several dozen varieties of products kept in locked glass cabinets.

They might include flowers or buds for smoking, or jars of topical ointments for pain relief.

"You've got a lot of different forms of consumption, whether a vape, or an edible or a joint you want to smoke," said Erkes.

A joint of marijuana may be as inexpensive as $15 plus tax, high-end concentrates, upwards of $80 a jar. Owners here suggest consumers review products online to be best prepared for their purchase.

"It's really important to understand what the goals are for consuming cannabis and what the best method of consumption is," Erkes said.

Counselors said sativa cannabis products, for example, will promote alertness and may be best used in the daytime. Indica cannabis products help users to relax and can also reduce pain. Consumers must be 21 years old to purchase and there's a money machine on hand to facilitate the cash-only sales.

Back to the medical lines outside, the state mandates dispensaries keep a 30-day supply of marijuana on hand for cannabis patients.

The dispensary was closed for several days to remodel, and Sunnyside's website crashed from increased interest. To compensate patients, the company discounted all medical sales Monday by 20%. One way one business is problem solving coping with the approach of legal marijuana.

Times will vary throughout the state, but at this location they will sell their first recreational marijuana at 6:00 a.m. on January 1.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.