Looking for a (legal) bag of weed? Soon, you won’t have to go too far anymore.
Illinois now has 110 dispensaries licensed to sell recreational pot — more than ever before — after state regulators issued a slew of permits in recent weeks ahead of a critical deadline.
There are now 19 licensed weed stores in the city, 47 in the suburbs and 44 more spread elsewhere across the state. A dozen of those are slated to open in the city and suburbs in the near future.
The rush to secure additional licenses came amid a takeover streak by major pot companies looking to expand their footprints and cash in on the state’s booming weed industry. As a result, the state’s billion-dollar pot market could soon be dominated by as little as 27 players, many of them giants of the cannabis world.
When Illinois’ prohibition on pot was lifted last year, the operators of the state’s existing medical dispensaries were given the opportunity to also start selling recreational weed and to open secondary locations to serve new adult-use customers. In the ensuing months, those licenses became increasingly valuable as corporate weed interests turned their focus to Illinois and snapped up