Chicago dispensaries, medical marijuana patients stock up ahead of legalization on January 1

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois in two days, and dispensaries are stocking up to make sure they have enough weed to go around.

The biggest concern is making sure there is enough product for medical marijuana patients. The new law says each dispensary must hold enough inventory for medical customers.

RELATED: Illinois Weed Legalization Guide

Despite that, many patients are worried about shortages so they lined up to buy pot Monday ahead of the Jan. 1 rush.

Medical marijuana patients lined up outside of Cresco Labs' renamed Sunnyside Dispensary in Wrigleyville. Medical customers want to be sure they get what they need before the huge crowd rushes in.

"There is a bit of concern there may not be enough inventory," said Michael Zedb, medical marijuana patient.

"The federal government won't let them import from another state, you can't grow it any faster, if you run out you run out, so I came here to stock up," said Scott Slein, medical marijuana patient.

RELATED: Illinois Weed Legalization Guide: Will your city or town sell marijuana?

While there is concern over supply shortages, the new law mandates each dispensary set aside a certain percentage of their inventory for medical customers.

"Patients don't need to worry about a supply shortage," said Jason Erkes, spokesman for Cresco Labs. "It's mandated by the law and we want to make sure patients get their medicine."

To ensure there is enough, Sunnyside patients are only allowed to buy 7 grams of flower product at a time.

RELATED: Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries issued 'same-site' licenses to sell weed starting Jan. 1

"I'll be back tomorrow to pick up 7 more grams," Slein said.

Cresco is gearing up for Wednesday's recreational crowds and the expected long lines by setting up an indoor staging area at a nearby coffee shop. Customers can review the products and order them while waiting.

"They will fill out cards and get a number, so by the time they actually get into the dispensary, their order is ready and they will spend as minimal time inside. That should help us get through a lot of people and service as many people as possible," said Erkes.
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