It was an historic day in Illinois, and many people in the Chicago area marked the occasion by standing and shivering in pre-dawn lines. They were waiting for marijuana shops to open their doors at 6 a.m. on the first day of recreational weed sales across the state. Scroll for WBEZ photos of the activity at dispensaries in the city and suburbs.
A crowd formed before 6 a.m. outside Sunnyside Dispensary in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood as legal marijuana sales began on New Year’s Day, 2020.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton is applauded by employees and customers at Sunnyside Dispensary on Chicago’s North Side as she makes some purchases.
Customers view cannabis products in display cases at Dispensary 33 in Chicago’s Winnemac neighborhood on the North Side.
A Dispensary 33 employee assists a customer in selecting marijuana vaping pens.
Cannabis oils and waxes were for sale at Dispensary 33 on Chicago’s North Side.
Crowds wait in line outside Mission Dispensary on Chicago’s South Side.
Mission Dispensary employee Rebecca Rodriguez, right, assists customer Jason Cupples.
Joseph Wuokko puffs a joint after making a purchase at the Mission Dispensary.
Everal Davis, right, was in line to enter the MedMen dispensary in downtown Evanston. Davis said he had been “locked up” for marijuana possession, so, for him, the start of legal sales was “a big day.”
In Evanston, a line stretched for blocks as people waited more than an hour to enter MedMen dispensary on Maple Avenue.
Valet parking was offered at Herbal Care Center on Chicago’s West Side as people waited to get inside and view the cannabis inventory.
Herbal Care Center worker Tera Verdak, right, talks to a customer at the counter.