Illinois’ newly legal recreational marijuana industry had only a couple of months to flourish before the coronavirus outbreak stunted its growth.
Dispensaries have been classified as essential businesses under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order which now extends through April, so they’re allowed to stay open, while many others were forced to close in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. But they’ve had to navigate enforcing social distancing protocol and protecting medical marijuana patients who may have compromised immune systems, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Since many municipal offices have closed and suspended services amid the outbreak, new dispensaries aren’t being approved and those plans have been shelved, according to the report.
PharmaCann wants to open two additional Chicago dispensaries in the Near North and Logan Square neighborhoods, but its progress has been delayed by the rescheduling of City Council and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings due to coronavirus.
Cresco Labs is having the same problem getting approval for new dispensaries in the Gold Coast neighborhood and in northwest suburban Schaumburg. Supply chain issues caused by the pandemic have also delayed construction on its planned dispensaries in South Beloit and Danville.
[Tribune] — Brianna Kelly