Illinois Dispensaries Brace for Product Shortages

One week after the launch of legal cannabis sales in the state, Illinois dispensaries are already low on products, forcing some to close and/or stop serving adult-use customers.

Full story after the jump.

One week after legalized cannabis sales in Illinois, dispensaries are running low on products, forcing some of them to temporarily close, NBC 5 reports. The launch of the legal cannabis market in Nevada, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Washington state also had near-immediate post-legalization shortages, so the shortage in Illinois was no surprise to operators.

Jason Erkes, spokesman for Cresco Labs, indicated the company has “limited supplies left” but the company “put rations in place … when things launched” in an effort to stretch their supplies and serve as many adult-use customers as possible. He added that the state’s growers are “ramping up their production and expanding their facilities.” He expects the supply chain to stabilize by spring.

Under the state’s recreational cannabis law, medical cannabis patients get first priority at the state’s dispensaries. Herbal Center Spokesperson Courtney Greve-Hack, told NBC 5 that the dispensary stopped selling to recreational consumers over the weekend but plan to resume selling some products – such as edibles and topicals – on Friday, but the company won’t sell flower to recreational users “until they can feel confident they have enough for medical patients.”

Pharmacann’s Jeremy Unruh said that while his firm grows and sells cannabis, state law doesn’t allow companies to favor their own dispensaries.

“Over the last five years we have developed very strong wholesale relationships with the other cultivators in Illinois, and we’ve spent the last several months leveraging and working those wholesale relationships to make sure that we’re prepared for day one, week one, month one.” – Unruh, to NBC 5

In the first five days, Illinois dispensaries sold more than $10.8 million worth of cannabis products over 271,000 sales, the Chicago Tribune reports. In all, 37 dispensaries throughout the state are online and the state is currently considering more than 700 applications for 75 new dispensary licenses.

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