Gone are those days when you have to visit hippie head shops to buy pot in Illinois. With the legalization of sales of recreational marijuana in the state from January 1, 2020, the pot shops are turning into swanky stores with more areas, more facilities, and more CBD products.
On May 31, 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act to legalize recreational marijuana use starting on January 1, 2020. The bill was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019. With this historical decision, Illinois became the 11th US state to allow sales of recreational marijuana.
This decision was instantly welcomed by the cannabis industry and led to the announcement of the opening of multiple cannabis dispensaries by various retailers. Among them, a few of the early retail giants who announced the cannabis dispensaries were Cresco Labs, Greenhouse, and Chicago compassion Club.
Within a few months, many dispensaries have popped up in and around the Chicago region. Some of the known dispensaries are Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary – Schaumburg, The Herbal Care Center, Chicago Compassion Club, RISE Dispensaries Mundelein, Dispensary 33, Greenhouse, and Nature’s care, among others.
Later in August 2020, one of the largest vertically integrated multi state cannabis operators in the United States- Cresco, announced the opening of Sunnyside Schaumburg, its ninth dispensary in the state, creating the largest retail footprint in Illinois.
The legalization move has not only benefits the marijuana industry financially, but it has also encouraged and boosts them to invest in their ideas and give a proper facelift to the stores for a longer run.
Retail cannabis giants like Cresco labs and Greenhouse, along with many other cannabis retailers, have given an exuberant shift to their cannabis stores. They have opened or transformed cannabis dispensaries with spacious displays, open-floor plans, and natural lights.
Besides, keeping aside the stigma attached to cannabis, many more entrepreneurs have now also made their way into the cannabis industry. Many of these entrepreneurs have taken ideas from retailers like Apple and other high-end stores for the designs and renovation.
These newly open cannabis stores in Illinois have customer-friendly & stunning layouts. Most of these cannabis dispensaries also display the cannabis strains in a circular container, with built-in magnifying glasses. This allows the customers a closer inspection of the buds. The buyers can even taste or sniff the products. This upscale ambiance, products, and service have not only helped shoppers, but it also provides a better opportunity for buyers to buy ideal products after thorough inspection and comparisons.
The ambiance and designs of some of these dispensaries are so good that many buyers visit them only because the store looks better!
Many of these retailers believe that stores are more than just a place to buy products. Instead, it should be a place that creates an environment where somebody enjoys just being in the store.
Along with giving a complete shift to the cannabis industry and bringing them into the mainstream, these entrepreneurs also raise awareness about cannabis.
However, considering the cannabis enthusiasts’ response, it seems like all the investments and hard work done by these retailers and entrepreneurs have been paid off. The retailers hoped that with such a makeover, they would succeed in getting more young customers. But to their surprise, along with young customers, they have also succeeded in attracting aged customers as well.
The whooping sales figures are also confirming the same story. On the first day of the legalization of recreational marijuana sale itself- January 1, 2020, Illinois records the historical sale of marijuana of $3.2million in just 24 hours across the state! The figures were historic as no other American state in the past has recorded such significant first-day sales.
Along with this, the total sale of January 2020, reaches $40 million, despite supply shortage.
Considering the fact that marijuana is becoming a mainstream industry in Illinois and the excellent initial response they got, it is safe to assume that we would see more swanky and splashy marijuana dispensaries in the near future.