CHICAGO (CBS) — There is a rush for medical marijuana users to stock up before the crush expected Wednesday, when recreational cannabis becomes legal.
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, some cardholders fear they will be left in the weeds when the law changes.
Privacy is still a concern – so we didn’t show you the line at the Sunnyside* Dispensary in Lakeview, which remains a strictly medical dispensary until Wednesday.
But there was quite a line there, as those with medical marijuana cards showed up in droves to stock up before sales to the public begin Wednesday.
“There’s a lot of people in line that are nervous about getting what they need, because January 1, we know that this is going to be a whole different scene,” said Jason – last name withheld.
Jason uses medical marijuana for gastrointestinal and mental health concerns. Matt Lancor uses it for concussion-related issues and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I think the reality is there’s going to be shortage of products they can create for, you know, the foreseeable month,” Lancor said. “It takes, you know, three months to grow a crop of this stuff. It’s not like we can just go and make some tomorrow.”
Both say it helps them immensely.
“I’ve been taken off other medications to go onto the medical marijuana products, and so to be off of the other medicines to go onto this, to now have an issue trying to get this, could become a problem,” Jason said.
“We’re restocking our shelves. We’re putting processes in place to make sure that things run really efficiently on January 1,” said Jason Erkes of Cresco Labs, the parent company of Sunnyside* Dispensary.
And Erkes says that’s not all. Illinois state law requires that dispensaries set aside supply for medical marijuana card carriers.
Medicinal users will also pay way less in taxes. For example, a $100 product purchase for a cardholder will cost $105 with tax in Chicago, compared with $132.50 for a recreational buyer.
Some dispensaries also plan to give first priority, and even separate lines, to those holding a medical marijuana card.
Medical marijuana patient Jason hopes it will alleviate a runaround.
“To have to go to try and find what you need at all these different places along – it isn’t going be fun,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy.”
So if you’re wondering, experts say there is still a reason to keep or get that medical marijuana card if you need it.