City’s first downtown pot shop to open Thursday

Cresco’s new Sunnyside dispensary, located at 436 N. Clark St. in River North, will also be the first in the city to exclusively sell recreational weed.

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Cresco Labs is expected to open a new marijuana store Thursday at 436 N. Clark St.

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Cresco Labs is slated to open the first cannabis dispensary in the downtown area on Thursday morning.

Cresco’s new Sunnyside pot shop, located at 436 N. Clark St. in River North, will also be the first in the city to exclusively sell recreational weed. Chicago’s 11 existing dispensaries, including another Cresco location in Lake View, are currently licensed to serve both medical cannabis patients and recreational buyers.

“We are thrilled to be opening the first adult use store in Chicago under the state’s new legislation and to provide an example of what normalized and professionalized cannabis looks like with a location in a traditional business district, a local and diverse operating team and a tremendous amount of community input and support,” said Charlie Bachtell, CEO and co-founder of Cresco, which will now operate seven Illinois dispensaries and three cultivation centers.

To streamline sales and promote social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the store will only be accepting online orders. Once customers receive a text notification that their order is ready, they can check in at a designated waiting area to get in line to pick up their pot products.

Cresco officials said products will include marijuana flower, which has been hard to come by for recreational customers as stores reserved supplies for medical patients as growers struggled to meet demand.

Despite state officials halting the issuance of any new pot licenses in the wake of the public health crisis, existing operators are now moving to open a series of new recreational-only stores. Cresco on Wednesday started selling weed at a new Sunnyside dispensary in Danville, while GTI — another major cannabis firm based in Chicago — will open an additional Rise shop in Niles on Thursday.

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