Want to know what it’s like inside an Illinois marijuana dispensary? Take a look. – Chicago TribunePosted by On

When marijuana dispensaries open their doors to recreational customers on Jan. 1, there won’t be jars of buds lined up on shelves or rolled joints under glass countertops.

Instead, shopping at a dispensary likely will be a cross between a trip to the pharmacy and shopping at an Apple store. Some customers will even be able to order online and pick up their products in store, cutting down on wait time.

At FloraMedex medical dispensary in Elmwood Park on Thursday, 19-year-old medical cannabis patient Alec Barber was in and out with a white paper bag of marijuana products in about 20 minutes.

“Most of the time, I go on my phone and look at the daily menu,” he said, standing in line to check out. “I make it easier for them.”

A new measure legalizing recreational cannabis will allow the state’s 55 medical dispensaries to apply to sell recreational marijuana. The dispensaries also can apply to open a second location. That means more than 100 dispensaries could be selling marijuana by the beginning of next year, pending a signature from Gov. J.B. Pritzker that officially legalizes recreational weed use.

Medical dispensaries are renovating their spaces, ramping up technology and streamlining processes to serve more customers. And although they currently serve only patients with a medical marijuana card, the sales process today likely will be similar to what recreational users experience next year.

FloraMedex, which is owned by Chicago-based marijuana company Cresco Labs,…

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