Illinois pot shops offer curbside weed pick-up for medical users

Published Mar 23, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Tunatura

The United States is currently operating under national emergency measures that have heavily restricted the rules surrounding public areas where people might gather unnecessarily. Before the big announcement, aside from panic shopping life remained relatively normal in the region, but recent changes have forced the reality that calls for intense social distancing measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Many restaurants have adapted to this new way of life by switching from in-person experiences to delivery services, one of the few options that remain unaffected by the regulations, but Illinois marijuana dispensaries were forced to close entirely until the state was able to intervene with brand new direction on how to move forward.

Until now, the only way that consumers could access cannabis was through online dispensaries that offer weed delivery, but a recent announcement quelled the concerns of medical patients who are living in the area. Illinois recreational cannabis dispensaries, unfortunately, do not fall under the new guidelines, but medical facilities have been granted permission to serve customers curbside or from the parking lot, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What is curbside pickup?

Medical cannabis patients can now drive up to their nearest dispensary and be served from the parking lot or side of the road. A safe space is sectioned off so that customers can drive up, place their orders, and then receive their package without ever having to step foot out of their car. This removes the potential for customers to spread the illness to one another while waiting inside and helps to keep the employees, budtenders, and the general public safe.

Who qualifies?

For the moment, the only people who qualify for this unique service are those who hold a medical card for cannabis. That means that those who make regular purchases through a dispensary that serves medical patients won’t be able to get this curbside drop-off to their car just yet. Anyone who does not have a certified need will still have the option of ordering weed delivery through an Illinois recreational dispensary if one in the area remains open, but this move is intended to help one of the most vulnerable sections of the public.


Why the change?

The state recognizes that many of its citizens are in need of their medical cannabis, and in response, a change to regulation was made that will stay in effect until March 31st at the earliest. This date might eventually be extended. Those with medical cards are often cancer patients and other immune-compromised individuals, and it is important for them to have access to their prescription in a safe, controlled environment.

Illinois recreational cannabis

Recreational cannabis users in the region are lucky if they live within a weed delivery zone of a dispensary, because if they do, then they can continue to comfortably and safely order their supply as needed, but anyone who resides outside of those areas, for the moment at least, might have to wait a while for a legal and licensed supplier to become available again.

It’s an incredibly unusual time, and for now, these measures are in place to keep the public safe and healthy, so while it might be an annoyance to some, those who require the relief paired with the utmost protection are receiving all of that and more in Illinois. The hope is that other legal states follow suit, to maintain a consistent and reliable flow of products to all medical patients who are stuck in the middle of this storm.

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