As most of Illinois stays at home to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, cannabis dispensaries remain open in Illinois because the industry is considered essential.
At one such dispensary, Nature's Care in Rolling Meadows, the line stretched out the door on Wednesday afternoon. Customers stood far apart from each other in accordance with state and federal policies on proper social distancing during the pandemic, and upon entering the facility, all customers were told to wash their hands.
According to statewide association CannabizIL, cannabis dispensaries sell products that help people with anxiety and other medical issues, and therefore are a critical business during an uncommon period of upheaval in all areas of society.
"We’ve had a lot of customers come through and the business has not slowed down at all," said Jeff Neuschaefer, dispensary manager at Nature's Care.
Sophia Babiarz was one of the individuals visiting the facility on Wednesday, saying she takes medical marijuana to treat her pain.
"There’s very, very sick medical patients that are way more ill than me that they need this to survive," Babiarz said.
Dispensaries across the state have been given guidelines to follow during the pandemic. Nature’s Care is requiring customers to order online and to choose a fifteen minute window to pick up their cannabis orders to try to minimize the number of people in line.
According to officials with CannabizIL, recreational marijuana is still available for sale in the state, and dispensaries are adequately stocked to deal with customer demands during the state’s “stay-at-home” order.