CHICAGO - In a little more than six months, Illinois residents will be able to buy recreational pot legally.
On Thursday, we got our first look inside a medical marijuana dispensary that will soon be selling to the general public.
FOX 32 watched as a customer got the lowdown on getting high from a budtender at the FloraMedex Marijuana Dispensary in Elmwood Park, which in a matter of months will be one of 55 dispensaries statewide opening its doors to recreational users.
"We recognize the dispensary experience can be somewhat intimidating because a lot of people haven't done it before,” said Cresco Labs spokesman Jason Erkes. “We want the atmosphere to be very normal and very professional."
Indeed, it looks like an upscale coffee shop until you take a closer look at the shelves. Dozens of strains of weed sold in varying doses that can be smoked, sprayed, vaped, ingested as fruit chews and candies and chocolates, in pill form, and even through a pot patch.
"It'll be very similar to going to your pharmaceutical drugstores, like CVS and Walgreens. You'll see lotions, topicals, everything sealed until you get home,” said dispensary manager Gabe Vale.
One of the first things you'll notice about the dispensary is security. You have to get buzzed in not just once at the entrance, but also a second locked door just around the corner.
Medical marijuana customers say they will welcome the recreational users, especially those who need it for health reasons not currently covered under the law.
"This is going to help a lot of other people who don't have access to it,” said medical marijuana user Paul Kotowski.
But will there be enough to handle the rush?
"Yeah, I think everyone is preparing right now on the cultivation side and on the dispensary side, to make sure there's enough product in the marketplace,” Erkes said.