How to Get Weed in Chicago While Sheltering in Place

Illinois has deemed cannabis an “essential service” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how to (safely) take advantage.

Virtually every industry has now been affected by the global spread of a coronavirus strain that began to dominate headlines in late February. Seemingly overnight, millions of Americans have traded the hustle and bustle of their normal routine for the solitude of their own homes.

While restaurants pivot to take-out or delivery and local entertainment venues sit empty or shutter, many in the cannabis industry are still trying to figure out exactly what role they may have to play in the immediate, yet uncertain, future ahead.

As more and more state governors elect to order quarantines of varying levels of severity, the matter of whether facets of the cannabis industry should classify as an “essential business” — and thus one allowed to remain in operation for now — has continuously changed in recent days, though some consistency is finally starting to take hold.

How to Get Cannabis While Sheltering-in-Place Chicago
Photo Courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon / Pexel.

Only a few weeks ago, the story in Chicago was the March 9 approval of five proposed recreational cannabis dispensaries by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Now, it appears the escalation of the coronavirus crisis has put a damper on the inaugural year of recreational sales in Illinois. Although recreational sales in the state were in excess of $74 million in January and February combined, the Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois is prioritizing medical patients in the wake of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s order for all residents to stay at home as of March 21.

In an effort to ensure medical patients aren’t prohibited from accessing cannabis during the “stay at home” order, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (which regulates dispensaries) is allowing dispensary workers to bring cannabis products to patients’ cars or meet them on the sidewalk as a means of practicing social distancing. Given the rule only applies to medical patients, some recreational operations are hitting pause, citing a lack of a safe way to get product into their customers’ hands (delivery of recreational cannabis is not yet permitted in Illinois).

Local Weed Delivery Services

Here are a few of the services still actively serving Chicago residents at this time, as well as their individual notes on how they’re tweaking operations in the face of COVID19.

MOCA MODERN CANNABIS

Offering: Curbside pick-up with online pre-order.

Available to: Qualified medical patients only (recreational sales currently paused)

Location: 2847 W Fullerton Avenue

Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Website notes hours may vary daily)

COVID19 Response: “Due to coronavirus, we are not doing recreational sales until further notice. Medical patients need a confirmed order # before arrival.”

DISPENSARY 33

Offering: Curbside pick-up with online pre-order.

Available to: Qualified medical patients only (recreational sales currently paused)

Location: 5001 N Clark Street

Hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Daily)

COVID19 Response: “Due to COVID-19 we will serve medical patients only until further notice. Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates.”

MISSION DISPENSARIES: CHICAGO SOUTH SHORE

Offering: Curbside pick-up with online pre-order.

Available to: Qualified medical patients only (recreational sales currently paused)

Location: 8554 S Commercial Avenue

Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Monday – Saturday), 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Sunday)

COVID19 Response: “We ask that medical patients do their best to place their orders online in order to minimize time spent inside the dispensary… Please remember:

If you do not feel well, please stay home and send a caregiver/friend. Protect yourselves and those around you and get better soon. Thank you!”

MIDWAY DISPENSARY

Offering: Curbside pick-up with online pre-order.

Available to: Qualified medical patients only (recreational sales currently paused)

Location: 5648 S Archer Avenue

Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Monday – Saturday), 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sunday)

COVID19 Response: “Midway Dispensary is suspending all adult use recreational cannabis sales as of Thursday, March 19, until further notice. This is in response to the COVID-19 virus and to limit potential exposure to Midway Dispensary’s registered patient population. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will re-evaluate over the next few days.”

For more from Better:

Quarantine Week 2: Here are 5 Things to Keep You Sane

Learning to Pivot: How One Evanston Catering Company is Feeding Those Who Need It Most

Quarantine Book Club: How to Start a Virtual Book Club


Zack RuskinZack Ruskin writes on music, cannabis, and culture. His bylines include Vanity FairBillboardEntertainment WeeklyVarietyMerry Jane, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Danielle, and their cat, McCovey.