Cannabis

Your Guide to Every Recreational Weed Dispensary in Chicago

In case you need to relax a little.

While the pandemic has clearly been an unmitigated disaster for many industries around the world, the weed business in Illinois continues to boom—with the state currently on track to top $1 billion in weed sales in 2020. With strong post-covid interest and record sales numbers this fall, it seems that nothing can stop the green gravy train from rolling full steam ahead. Chicago has added five new dispensaries in 2020, bringing its current total to 15 shops in the city plus another 27 in the surrounding suburbs (view the full list of Illinois’ 73 facilities here).
 
Here is every recreational dispensary in the city where you can snag the natural cure to what ails you, particularly when it comes to stress relief and lockdown boredom assistance. Order ahead for timed pickup if you can to minimize contact, and get the full rundown on how much you can buy along with other important details here. Per state law, masks are required inside all Illinois dispensary facilities.

Sunnyside

Lakeview & River North
Sunnyside is the retail arm of Cresco Labs, the largest marijuana operator in Illinois and one of the biggest cannabis companies in the US. Two of their eight Illinois locations are in Chicago, including its original orange-and-white walled space in Lakeview located steps from Wrigley Field, Metro, and Uncommon Ground. The company has recently opened a second Chicago location as the first dispensary to open in River North, and can always be relied on for one of the largest selections of cannabis on the market armed with supply from some of the state’s premium grow facilities.

Dispensary 33

Uptown & Fulton Market
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 in its original Uptown location. Their love for the good green is clearly evident, as Chicago’s “most passionate” dispensary (their words) has made legions of fans since opening as a medical facility way back in 2015. Ah, remember those days? Smoke some weed and reminisce. Getting in on the action closer to downtown, Dispensary 33 has also recently opened a second location in Fulton Market.
 

MOCA Modern Cannabis

Logan Square & River North
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 (during normal times) 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 MOCA has also recently opened a second location in the hot River North market, a lively and colorful space stocked with top-quality product that now serves as Chicago’s largest recreational dispensary.
 

Maribis of Chicago

Brighton Park
While there aren’t quite as 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. Maribis is known for deals and specials regularly posted on Leafly, with a lobby 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. Maribis also operates a second location in Springfield, so stop by after your next class field trip.
 

Columbia Care Chicago

Jefferson Park
Operating 33 facilities in 12 states plus Washington DC, 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 infused French onion mix, CBD body oil, and a potent 82% THC vape known as Mag Landrace. They also have a suburban location in Villa Park.

Mission South Shore

South Chicago
If you’re living on the Southeast Side and are on a mission for marijuana, you are probably familiar with Mission South Chicago. Located minutes from 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. Mission operates nine dispensaries in five states, with a second Illinois location currently planned for Calumet City.

The Herbal Care Center

University Village
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. Preorder online or stop in to browse through their stocked selection of edibles, vapes, extracts, pre-rolls, and tinctures. The dispensary is also helpfully located near one of Chicago’s top restaurants, EL Ideas, so make it a two-fer for a dinner and weed takeout date night quarantine.
 

Midway Dispensary

Garfield Ridge
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. Midway started as one of Chicago’s first medical dispensaries in 2016 before expanding to recreational in late 2019. Just don’t bring any on the plane, okay?
 

Consume: Chicago

Norwood Park
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. Consume: Chicago also just so happens to be located 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). Consume also operates a second Chicago-area location (of four in the state) in Oakbrook Terrace.

Greenhouse Skokie

Skokie
While this list so far focuses solely on dispensaries in the city, no Chicago weed dispensary roundup would be complete without inclusion of Greenhouse Skokie—where Chicago native/Oregon pot farmer Jim Belushi (star of the Discovery TV series Growing Belushi) has partnered with Grassroots Cannabis to open one of the largest dispensaries in Illinois. Stop by for 100+ types of weed (including, of course, a Blues Brothers-branded strain) in a sleek 15,000-square-foot space located in a renovated bank building across from Old Orchard Mall. Greenhouse also operates locations in Northbrook and Melrose Park.
 

Windy City Cannabis Club

Goose Island
This delightfully on-the-nose dispensary is miraculously located on Chicago’s Weed Street, across from Joe’s on Weed and down the street from a strip club and an Apple store. Fortuitous monikers aside, this shop is one of five in the Chicago area operated by Windy City Cannabis Club, which is predominately located in the south suburbs. Shop online from their playfully titled “Weed on Weed” menu and enroll in CanPay for contactless transactions during your assigned pickup time window.
 

Nature’s Care Company

West Loop
This small shop features a large selection for a store of its size, stocking everything from chocolate flights and cooking bundles to their in-house brands Tweed, Botanist, and Innocent. The recently opened dispensary well placed near Lone Wolf and Little Goat Diner along Restaurant Row in the bustling West Loop is offering 10% off any purchase of $150 or more, and is currently developing a chef discount program in addition to a range of loyalty programs. Nature’s Care’s second (and original) location can be found in Rolling Meadows.
 

nuEra

Clybourn Corridor
Formerly known as NuMed, this no-frills dispensary is located across the street from Chicago’s legendary late-night punk bar/den of bad decisions Exit—and not far from other beloved area haunts like The Hideout and Ada Street. According to nuEra’s site, the company is all about “a new era of cannabis” that is “safer, higher quality, and available in more product variety than ever before.” Can’t really argue with that, now can you? They also operate two downstate locations in Urbana and East Peoria.

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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.