Some cannabis dispensaries opt to stop recreational sales

Published May 7, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Patrick Morrissey

Cannabis dispensaries in Illinois has some of the most robust sales in the history of marijuana reform. January 2020 alone saw millions of dollars in sales of cannabis for dispensaries in this state.  One wonders why some of the cannabis dispensaries in Illinois have opted out of you being able to buy weed for your recreational enjoyment. However, medicinal sales were still being accepted.

Marijuana reform

The year 2020 was looked upon as the year for unprecedented legalization and decriminalization of cannabis on the state ballots. In the United States, marijuana is classed as a Schedule 1 drug or substance. Broken down, this means it is a drug or substance that is illegal, prone to have a high abuse factor, and not medically beneficial.

Medical dispensaries

Illinois is one state whose dispensaries have chosen to curtail their sales, not to include recreational marijuana. Instead, they opted to supply the cannabis population with medical cannabis. To do this, the dispensaries would only sell recreational cannabis on limited days.  One would wonder why?

Recreational marijuana sales in the first five days in Illinois topped $10.8 million, and at this time, there was a fear developing that the medicinal cannabis user would not be able to purchase their needed medication. There was a shortage of products, and dispensaries viewed the medical cannabis user as a top priority.

1. Midway Dispensary

This dispensary halted the sale of recreational cannabis. Medical patients could still purchase their medication at this location. The decision on when to open the dispensary back to the recreational user was contingent on products being received.

2. NuMed Dispensary

After one week of marijuana reform being implemented, this dispensary was posting notes on their doors. The notes indicated that the recreational sales would be halted pending refreshing of the product. Medical cannabis users could still buy weed at this location.

3. Dispensary 33


This dispensary in Chicago's Uptown neighbourhood limited its recreational sales of cannabis for a weekend. Medical cannabis users were able to purchase their meds with no interruption and based on availability. Recreational cannabis sales resumed, but choices were limited.

4. The Herbal Care Center

General manager Mr. Mandera decided that flower or bud would not be sold at the location. The decision made was in support of medical cannabis users have the surety that medicinal flower users did not have their supply jeopardized.

5. Moca Modern Cannabis

This is another one of the dispensaries in Illinois that has chosen only to assist medical cannabis users. Recreational cannabis will not be available at this location.

What has changed

So, let us move forward to today, have things in Illinois dispensaries changed?   Three months after the recreational legalization of cannabis in the state of Illinois, medical cannabis is also in high demand, and some dispensaries have chosen to opt-out of selling to the recreational user. Fear of a lack of supply is still at the forefront of many dispensary owners' minds because medical patients need a constant supply of medication.

The COVID 19 pandemic has had some dispensaries looking at ways to protect the vulnerable, their medical cannabis clients, and many have chosen to opt-out of the recreational market.  January 1, 2020, was a memorable day for those that enjoy the green herb and live in Illinois. Recreational cannabis became legal, and consumers could buy recreational weed at storefronts in the neighbourhood.

However, there seem to be several clues that show that if the current president of America is re-elected in November 2020, federal marijuana reform may be dead until 2025. Does this infer that there will be a continued barrier to the federal legalization of cannabis in the United States and further jeopardizing the health and well being of medical cannabis users of today? Many would say yes, with utmost certainty.

Supply falls short of demand for cannabis in Illinois


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