Yes. The City of Chicago permits the operations of cannabis dispensaries in the city as recreational cannabis and the establishment of cannabis retail outlets is legal pursuant to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act. New recreational dispensaries created following the September 2021 amendment to the Chicago cannabis zoning ordinance may be located in certain Planning Manufacturing (PMD), Manufacturing (M), Business (B), Commercial (C), and Downtown (D) zoning districts as long as they obtain special use permits from the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The Chicago government lists approved adult-use marijuana dispensaries on its website.
Yes. Medical marijuana dispensaries are legal in Chicago pursuant to the state law (Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act), which legalized medical marijuana and permitted the establishment of medical cannabis retail outlets statewide in 2013. You can find a map of existing medical cannabis dispensaries in the city on the Chicago government website.
No. Chicago prohibits cannabis delivery. Hence, residents cannot legally purchase weed online in the city.
You may sometimes experience a queue when visiting a weed dispensary in Chicago. However, that does not mean your wait will be extended. A line outside the entrance means the dispensaries permit only a few persons to enter the premises at once for the safety of their customers, products, and employees. You will have your ID scanned before entering to confirm whether you are a resident or non-resident.
The quantities you can purchase are dependent on your residency status. If you are a resident of Chicago or another Illinois location, you can buy higher cannabis limits than non-residents. If you do not know what products to buy, an employee of the dispensary will walk you through the products on offer. Such an employee can even help you decide what strains work best for you and how much (dosage) you should take. You should take cash with you to complete your cannabis transactions.
According to the Chicago zoning ordinance and the Illinois cannabis laws, marijuana dispensaries may not be located within 500 feet of an elementary or secondary school, 1,500 feet of another weed dispensary, or parts of the central business districts. Per state law, Chicago dispensaries may only operate between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Per Section 15-70 of the state cannabis law, dispensaries are prohibited from selling any cannabis product containing alcohol except tinctures, which must be limited to containers no larger than 100 milliliters.
Cannabis dispensaries may also not operate drive-through windows, allow for the dispensing of cannabis via vending machines, or transport cannabis to residences or other locations where purchasers may be for delivery. It is illegal for dispensaries to sell cannabis clones and live cannabis plant material.
Per state law, a marijuana dispensary must verify the age of purchasers by checking their government-issued IDs and the validity of the IDs. No sales of recreational cannabis products may be made to persons under the age of 21
Chicago recreational weed laws are contained under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act. Under the Act:
Adults 21 or older up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrates, and a maximum of 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products. Out-of-state visitors aged 21 or older may only possess half of these limits
Home cultivation of recreational marijuana is not permitted
Cannabis smoking in public is illegal
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal
Transporting cannabis across state lines into Chicago is illegal
Cannabis cultivation for personal recreational use is illegal
Cannabis may not be transferred to persons under 21, regardless of whether remuneration is involved
Medical marijuana is legal in Chicago as approved under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. The Act legalized the cultivation, use, and sale of medical marijuana in Illinois. The state Department of Public Health administers the state's medical marijuana program, which allows the legal participation of patients, caregivers, and physicians.
Patients and caregivers with valid medical marijuana registration may buy up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of usable cannabis each 14-day period. Patients may ask their physician for permission to possess more cannabis if necessary. Chicago residents with medical marijuana cards may carry cannabis in safe, sealed containers inaccessible to drivers or passengers while driving. Consumption of medical marijuana by a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle is illegal.
Chicago schools, employers, and landlords cannot discriminate against medical marijuana users or caregivers based solely on their statuses as patients or caregivers. Patients may not give away or transfer medicinal marijuana. Caregivers may only acquire or possess cannabis medication on behalf of the patients they are assigned to serve.
Registered patients and their designated caregivers may cultivate cannabis. However, the cultivation:
Must be done in enclosed, locked spaces
May not be visible to the public
May only occur on residential properties owned by cultivators or with the consent of the owner
Must contain no more than five plants which are no more than 5 inches tall
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Chicago, you must submit an application to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Applications may be completed online via the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System (ICTS). In order to be eligible for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) card, you must:
Be a resident of Chicago or another Illinois location
Be 18 or older
Not hold a commercial driver's license or school bus driver permit
Not be an active duty-law enforcement officer, probation officer, correctional officer, or firefighter
Have been certified to suffer from one of the approved medical conditions. Such conditions include Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, hydrocephalus, Hepatitis C, cancer, cachexia, HIV/AIDS, autism, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The following documents are required in your application:
Written certification from a doctor to confirm the diagnosis of a qualifying condition
Completed and signed Illinois medical cannabis application form
Passport-size photograph taken in front of a plain, white background
Proof of Chicago or Illinois residency with two separate documents. Copies of bank statements, driver's licenses, state IDs, voters ID cards, and utility bills are acceptable proofs
Proof of age and identity. A valid and current copy of a government-issued photo ID is required
Payment for the application fee. Illinois charges $50 for a regular patient one-year medical marijuana card, $100 for a 2-year card, and $125 for a 3-year card
12-month medical record from a Veteran’s Administration (VA) in the location of a physician's written certification, if you are being treated at a Veteran's Administration facility
Note that terminally ill patients diagnosed with up to six months to live can register with the Illinois medical marijuana programs. Upon completing your application, you may check the status on the ICTS. Once your application has been approved and the card is issued, you may print the card on your account on the ICTS. For more information on obtaining medical marijuana cards in Chicago, visit the Qualifying Patient Application Instructions page of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Cannabis consumption is legal in private Chicago properties or entities that have obtained on-premises cannabis consumption licenses. Consuming cannabis in public, including in parks, streets, and areas adjacent to marijuana dispensaries is illegal. You may not consume cannabis in any vehicle, whether moving or parked. Note that Chicago employers are permitted to mandate drug-free workplaces.
You cannot consume cannabis on school grounds unless you are a medical marijuana user. Cannabis use near persons under 21 and on-duty school bus drivers, firefighters, police officers, or corrections officers is also illegal.
You may buy cannabis from a dispensary in Chicago online or by visiting the dispensary's address. To discover the locations of marijuana dispensaries near you in Chicago, enter the search term "marijuana dispensaries near me" in an internet search engine. Note that a valid photo ID showing you are aged 21 or older and cash will be required to purchase marijuana.
One gram of cannabis in Chicago costs about $22, while an ounce costs about $350.
Some popular cannabis strains in Chicago are:
No. Cannabis smoking in public is illegal. You cannot smoke cannabis on city streets, patios at bars, or parks. If you reside in a rented property, your landlord may prohibit you from consuming cannabis on the property. You must get permission from your landlord before smoking cannabis on a rented property.
Chicago residents and other Illinois residents in Chicago can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, cannabis-infused products containing no more than 500 milligrams of THC, and up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrates, such as cannabis oils and creams. Non-residents can possess up to 15 grams of cannabis, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and cannabis-infused products containing no more than 250 milligrams of THC.
No. Due to federal interstate transport laws, shipping cannabis across state lines into Chicago is illegal. Note that marijuana remains a banned substance federally despite being legal in Illinois and other jurisdictions. However, you can move cannabis from another Illinois city into Chicago if the cannabis is transported in a vehicle and the cannabis is kept in a child-resistant container inaccessible by any vehicle occupant.
No. Cannabis delivery is illegal in Chicago and Illinois. Hence, you cannot order cannabis online in the city.
Per state law, by which the Chicago government abides, no marijuana dispensary may operate earlier than 6:00 a.m. and later than 10:00 p.m.
Yes, tourists in Chicago may use recreational weed dispensaries in the city as long as they provide acceptable ID showing they are of legal age (21) to consume marijuana in Illinois. The law is different for tourists intending to use medical marijuana dispensaries in Chicago, as medical marijuana is only available to state residents.
You need an ID showing you are aged 21 or older to enter a Chicago adult-use dispensary.
The best cannabis dispensaries in Chicago include:
Zen Leaf Chicago
The Herbal Center
Marijuana dispensaries in Chicago are required by state law to track purchases. Hence, dispensaries in the city may scan your ID to ensure you do not purchase above the stipulated limits. However, Chicago dispensaries are not obliged by state or local law to scan your ID to keep your personal information.
According to the Chicago government website, there are 10 adult-use marijuana dispensaries and 11 medical marijuana dispensing locations in the city.
Marijuana dispensaries in Chicago do not accept credit cards for purchases. Most marijuana dispensaries request cash for payment. You may use an ATM at the dispensary to withdraw cash for your purchase.
You may visit several weed dispensaries in one day in Chicago. However, since cannabis purchases from licensed dispensaries are tracked, you will not be able to buy more than the limits imposed under Illinois cannabis law.
No. Cannabis purchases must be paid in full by cannabis buyers. Cannabis dispensaries in Chicago do not accept health insurance from buyers.
Yes. Chicago weed dispensaries are required by law to keep track of sales in their facilities. This is required to ensure buyers do not exceed the stipulated purchase limits.
No, you cannot enter an adult-use cannabis dispensary in Chicago at 18. You must be at least 21 before you may be permitted to enter a recreational cannabis dispensary in the city.
In contrast to many other jurisdictions, three different authorities are responsible for cannabis industry administration and licensing in Chicago and Illinois. Responsibility for cannabis regulation is shared by:
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA): The IDOA licenses and regulates cannabis cultivation centers, craft growers, infusers, and transporters
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR): licenses and administer medical and adult-use cannabis dispensing organizations
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): administers the registry of patients and the Illinois medical marijuana program
To file a complaint about illegal cannabis activities in Chicago, you may contact the following: