Cannabis

Your Guide to Every Recreational Weed Dispensary in Chicago

In case you're feeling a little stressed right now...

With 4/20 on the horizon and Illinois residents stuck at home through at least April 30, it is inevitable that many minds might start shifting in the direction of legal marijuana in Chicago. Deemed essential businesses during the coronavirus crisis, all of Chicago’s 10 dispensaries are currently open for business -- with some selling only to medical patients and others requiring recreational users to either make an appointment or order online. (Delivery is not currently allowed in Illinois.)
 
To help you deal with your extended case of cabin fever, while helping to reduce some of your news-induced anxiety, we've provided you with a complete rundown on each Chicago dispensary that is currently licensed to sell to recreational users, including what to get and what to expect as you stock up for 4/20 supplies in the midst of a global pandemic. Stay safe. And stay sane.

Sunnyside

Lakeview
Currently serving recreational by online order
Sunnyside is the retail arm of Cresco Labs, the largest marijuana operator in Illinois and one of the biggest cannabis companies in the US. Step inside its bustling orange-and-white walled space located steps from Wrigley Field, Metro, and Uncommon Ground to find one of the largest selections of cannabis on the market armed with supply from some of the state’s premium grow facilities. The company has recently opened a dedicated space across the street from Sunnyside at 3801 N. Clark for walk-ins serving medical patients and recreational users 55 and over with heightened health risks, while the original location will serve as a fulfillment center for online orders.

Dispensary 33

Uptown
Currently serving medical patients only
Chicago’s first cannabis operator is also one of the city’s most beloved, featuring a beautifully well-designed space showcasing soothing woods and tasteful sketch art located a short walk from Hopleaf and Chicago Magic Lounge. With recreational sales currently suspended, medical patients are currently being asked to shop only if it is “absolutely essential” and to expect delays due to social distancing requirements. Dispensary 33 typically plays host to the annual Waldos Forever 4/20 festival outside the store, which has been rescheduled for September with the dispensary’s 4/20 festivities moved online -- including the chance to win a “Stoner Starter Kit” on Instagram.

MOCA Modern Cannabis

Logan Square
Currently serving medical patients only
Another of Chicago’s best known cannabis operators, this Logan Square hotspot operated by the owners of the local Emporium arcade bar chain is known for its educational events and cannabis markets in addition to an array of standout offerings in a cool loft-style space located near a number of equally cool bars such as Slippery Slope and Emporium Logan Square. With events now on hold and recreational sales suspended, MOCA is currently only open for medical patients and caregivers who place orders online. The store is also offering remote assistance for prospective cannabis patients during the coronavirus crisis.

Maribis of Chicago

Brighton Park
Currently serving recreational on weekends only
While there aren’t too many flights taking off from Midway these days, traffic still continues to flow to this Southwest Side operator located less than three miles from the airport. Currently only allowing recreational customers on weekends, Maribis does not offer online ordering but is known for deals and specials regularly posted on Leafly. Yet its lobby is large enough to accommodate a decent number of people in the social distancing age. After picking up your stash, round out the experience with a visit to next-door Leon’s Barbeque (currently open for takeout).

Columbia Care Chicago

Jefferson Park
Currently serving recreational by appointment only
Operating 33 facilities in 11 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico, Columbia Care is a large-scale international operator known for introducing the country’s first legal credit card for cannabis purchases. Located in Jefferson Park near the Gale Street Inn and Jefferson Park Blue Line, admire the store’s sleek black and white minimalist design while you shop for recreational products including French onion soup mix, THC-infused Epsom bath salts, and a potent 28.5% THC Indica known as Mag Landrace.

Mission South Shore

South Chicago
Currently serving recreational by appointment only
If you’re living on the Southeast Side and are on a mission for marijuana, you are probably familiar with Mission South Shore. The only dispensary in the area and the closest to the Indiana border, the shop brings in plenty of out-of-staters as well as loyal locals stocking up on everything from tablets and tonics to water pipes and suppositories in a clean judgment-free space. Currently only allowing eight people on the floor at one time with recreational sales by appointment only, Mission South Shore has also removed all quantity limits on any product or category during the coronavirus crisis.

The Herbal Care Center

University Village
Currently serving recreational by appointment only
Featuring one of the largest and most diverse cannabis product selections in the state, Chicago’s top-rated dispensary is known for taking good care of its customers in a welcoming, relaxing space outfitted with sofas and wall art. Browse through their stocked selection of edibles, vapes, extracts, pre-rolls, and tinctures as you seek the cure to what ails you (even if that ailment is simple lockdown boredom). The dispensary is also located near one of Chicago’s top restaurants, EL Ideas, which is currently open for takeout and delivery.

Midway Dispensary

Garfield Ridge
Currently serving recreational by appointment only
If this dispensary were any closer to Midway Airport, it would be parked in the gift shop next to Hudson News. Located just three blocks north of the airport near the old-school Villa Rosa Pizza, this Garfield Ridge dispensary offers a large inventory of disposable vapes and cartridges plus gummies and drinks from tropical punch to Mexican hot chocolate. Started as one of Chicago’s first medical dispensaries in 2016 before recently expanding to recreational, Midway Dispensary is also currently offering curbside pickup for medical patients.

Consume: Chicago

Norwood Park
Currently serving recreational by online order
Tucked away in residential, family-friendly Norwood Park, this neighborhood-centric dispensary is the perfect place to nerd out on the details of the cannabinoid and terpenes profiles in your flower strain or stock up on potent extracts like crumble wax. Currently allowing curbside pickup for medical with the parking lot reserved for medical patients only, Consume: Chicago is helpfully located just down the road from Chicago’s iconic old-school hot dog purveyors Superdawg. Grab some weed, grab a Chicago dog, and disappear into the Caldwell Woods Forest Preserves across the street. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday (or any day).

Nu Med Chicago

Clybourn Corridor
Currently serving recreational by online order
Mojito and lime sorbet vapes. Menthol and cayenne topicals. Tangerine tinctures and taco seasoning packets. These are just some of the flavor-packed items you can discover at this no-frills dispensary located across the street from Chicago’s legendary late-night punk bar/den of bad decisions Exit. Currently only allowing five people in the store at a time with 6-10 foot distancing protocols in place, Nu Med has also installed plexiglass windows at all of its terminals with the first two hours of every day reserved for medical patients only.

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Jay Gentile is an award-winning freelance journalist specializing in travel, food & drink, culture, events and entertainment stories. In addition to Thrillist, you can find his work in The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN Travel, Chicago Tribune, Lonely Planet, VICE, Outside Magazine and more. Follow @thejaygentile.