Downtown Chicago’s first recreational pot shop opened on Thursday morning. While weed has been legal in Illinois since the beginning of the year, Chicago has made efforts to slow down the initiation of retail within city limits.
Chicago medical marijuana dispensaries have begun to sell recreational pot, but the Sunnyside store in River North neighborhood will be the first to exclusively sell recreational cannabis.
The store is owned by Cresco Labs, a cannabis producer and distributor with 29 retail locations across the country including eight in Illinois. Cresco won permission to open its store in Downtown Chicago in a lottery last November.
As you might expect given current events, the store is requiring customers to make pre-orders online, wait until they receive a message confirming their order is ready, and then use a check-window around the corner from the store front, offering what it calls a “pop-up” experience in order to limit large crowds, as reported by Block Club Chicago.
“We are thrilled to be opening the first adult use store in Chicago under the state’s new legislation and to provide an example of what normalized and professionalized cannabis looks like with a location in a traditional business district, a local and diverse operating team and a tremendous amount of community input and support,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and co-founder.
A second store is scheduled to open Downtown Chicago in mid-June. MOCA Modern Cannabis will open just down the road from Sunnyside. MOCA co-owner Danny Marks told Block Club they are preparing “for the extra challenges with social distancing in such a high density area.”
Photo via Flickr/R Boed